MANILA – No Filipino case of coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) has been reported in New Zealand, Philippine Ambassador to Wellington Jesus Domingo said Tuesday.
“Sa awa ng Diyos walang na-report sa amin, walang report galing sa New Zealand government or Filipino community (With God’s grace no report has come in yet, there are no report from the New Zealand government or the Filipino community),” he said in an interview during the Laging Handa briefing.
The envoy described as “good” the management of Covid-19 pandemic in New Zealand which has been cited as “one of the world’s best”.
Latest data from the World Health Organization showed that in New Zealand, there are 1,147 persons infected with the disease, 21 of whom have died.
Despite the zero cases among Filipinos, he noted that a number of them have been affected by job displacements brought by the crisis.
“Ang problema ngayon marami ring na-layoff ‘di lang mga Pinoy kundi pati mga New Zealanders din mismo. ‘Yong iba naghihintay, right now ‘di pa masyadong klaro ang sitwasyon but the Embassy is doing the best it can to assist our kababayan (The problem now is many have been laid off not only Filipinos but New Zealanders also. Some are waiting because right now the situation is not yet clear but the Embassy is doing the best it can to assist our nationals),” he said.
There are 79,995 Filipinos in New Zealand, many of whom are working as front-liners, Domingo said.
“‘Yong iba nasa health sector sila so wala silang pahinga they’re working throughout, ‘yong ibang categories… ‘yong hindi front-liners or ‘di essential service unti-unti nakakabalik na sila (Some are in the health sector so they’re working, while those in other categories… those who are not front-liners or are not in the essential service are slowly getting back to work),” he said.
New Zealand is moving into Covid-19 alert level 2 from 3, which will allow the opening of some businesses and the resumption of work and school, he added.
Meanwhile, the embassy has opened an online help desk to Filipinos seeking assistance, such as repatriation.
Last April 20, Domingo said the embassy coordinated the return of some 60 stranded Filipinos from Auckland to Manila via a special Philippine Airlines flight. (ia/PNA)