By Sami Zaptia.
London, 2 February 2021:
The Philippine Embassy today paid tribute to Filipino nurses and other hospital workers in Libya for serving alongside Libyan doctors and nurses in the frontline against the coronavirus disease (Covid-19).
“Filipino nurses remained in their duty stations during the recent conflict and continued to take care of the sick and wounded even as artillery shells were falling,” Embassy Chargé d’Affaires Elmer G. Cato said. “Now, they are again in the forefront of the fight against an invisible enemy—the coronavirus disease—even after many of them have been infected and some even losing their lives,” Cato said.
According to the envoy, the Embassy has recorded at least 128 Covid-19 cases in the Filipino Community in Libya since a Filipino nurse in Tripoli first tested positive in June. Six Filipinos, including two hospital workers and two dependents of hospital workers, have died of the disease. Of the total number of infections, Cato said 102 are nurses and other hospital workers in Tripoli, Benghazi, Misrata, and other places in Libya.
It is estimated that there are still about 2,000 Filipinos working in various sectors across Libya, down from about 20,000 before the 2011 revolution. Many are made to wait lengthy periods for their salaries and do not have a portion of them paid in hard currency, as contracted.
“Despite the risks they face because of the pandemic, despite all the difficulties they are going through because of delayed salaries and remittances, we expect our nurses to continue fulfilling their obligation of looking after our Libyan brothers and sisters,” Cato said.