Twitter: @edd1819, Instagram: @bluestar0910, Facebook: SDN — Science, Digital & Current News
By EDD K. USMAN & DEEN MOHAMMAD
MANILA/RIYADH, July 16 (SDN) — UNDER Ambassador Adnan Alonto, the Philippine Embassy in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, has started Covid-19 tests for its its officials, staff, and employees.
Good news, at least for the first batch of 20.
Alonto told SDN — Science & Digital News today, June 16, the 20 embassy personnel who underwent the PCR tests all came out negative.
“Alhamdulillah, we are all negative,” the Philippine to Saudi Arabia says. He indicated he is one of the 20 negative cases.
Last week he said through Messenger the embassy will be having everyone tested for the novel coronavirus that causes the global pandemic driven by the SARS-CoV-2.
“The tests were conducted on embassy grounds by Habib Hospital last Sunday, June 14. Results came out yesterday (June 15),” the ambassador says.
More tests, he added, will be conducted in the following days for the remaining embassy employees. He said the embassy in Riyadh has 60 personnel.
Over at the Philippine Overseas Labor Office (POLO)-Riyadh, operation has been suspended temporarily starting June 14, at least until further notice, because some of its personnel tested positive for Covid-19.
Ambassador Alonto said POLO-Riyadh has 13 personnel who were found infected with the coronavirus.
He said the tests conducted were done with the RT-PCR.
Meanwhile, the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) headed by Secretary Silvestre Bello III has launched new program catering to overseas Filipino workers (OFWs).
The new initiative is dubbed OASIS, meaning OFW Assistance Information System, which was designed as an “online platform intended to facilitate better service delivery to overseas Filipino workers.”
OFWs who register in OASIS have to provide the necessary information the government that will enable concerned agencies such as DOLE, POLO, OWWA and POEA to address the concerns of the OFWs to give them the appropriate services as occasioned by the global pandemic.
These include repatriation, testing, quarantine and transportation.
The DOLE assured that information provided by OFWs “will be used in accordance with the Data Privacy Act of 2012.
Riyadh is host to a Filipino community of around 400,000. Saudi Arabia has more than 800,000 OFWs. (SDN)