The Philippines Embassy in Tripoli confirmed on Monday the death of the first Filipino in Libya due to coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
“We are working to repatriate the remains the soonest amidst the ongoing conflict and border and travel restrictions in Libya. The DFA extends its deepest sympathies to the bereaved family,” Foreign Affairs Undersecretary Brigido Dulay said in a tweet.
“[The DFA] extends its deepest sympathies to the bereaved family,” he added.
In response to Dulay’s tweet, Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. ordered the immediate repatriation of the Filipino’s remains.
“Oh God. Bring home ASAP. Our duty our small recompense to our poor countrymen abroad,” Locsin said.
Oh God. Bring home ASAP. Our duty our small recompense to our poor countrymen abroad. https://t.co/p4Qq1c104f
— Teddy Locsin Jr. (@teddyboylocsin) August 5, 2020
There are still more than 1,000 Filipinos in Tripoli and surrounding areas, most of them are hospital workers.
COVID-19 has infected at least 9,607 Filipinos in 71 countries and killed 693.
Of the said number, 3,233 Filipinos remain under treatment while 5,681 have already recovered. The DFA has so far reported 693 fatalities.
“As we continue to battle against this pandemic, the DFA rallies the Filipinos here and abroad to cooperate and responsibly adhere to precautionary measures of the local health authorities of the respective countries in which they reside,” a DFA statement said.