June 3, 2021
The ongoing coronavirus pandemic continues to halt the deployment of Filipino workers to Japan, Philippine Ambassador in Tokyo Jose Laurel V said Thursday.
“As of now they still would like to have Filipinos as caregivers or homemakers for their aging population pero dahil itong ngang pandemya ay hindi pinapayagang magbiyahe (but due to the pandemic, travel is not yet allowed),” the Filipino envoy said in a Laging Handa briefing.
Foreign nationals from the Philippines and 158 other countries are not yet allowed to enter Japan, except for those in the diplomatic service or unless special permission has been granted.
Laurel said the Covid-19 state of emergency had been placed in Tokyo, Osaka, Hokkaido, Aichi, Kyoto, Hyogo, Okayama, Hiroshima, Fukuoka, and Okinawa as the country continues to record 4-digit daily additional cases.
Meanwhile, he reported that the number of Filipinos infected by the coronavirus is relatively low, most of whom have already recuperated.
“Wala namang malaking datos ang nagkasakit na Filipino sa Japan, sa katotohanan karamihan ay mga seamen na nasa Diamond Princess Cruise at sa Costa Atlantica — roughly about 41 and in the case of Diamond, 80 (The figures on those who were infected were not that big in Japan, most of them are actually seafarers from the Diamond Princess and Costa Atlantica),” he said.
Laurel said one Filipino, however, died in Tokyo where a total of 56 cases were logged. In Osaka, two of the 82 Filipino cases are currently undergoing treatment while the rest have recovered.
In Nagoya, the envoy said no casualty was reported. “Beyond that everybody is fine.”
Laurel noted that Japan is quite “meticulous” in its vaccination rollout and is currently prioritizing all health front-liners and caregivers. But he assured that all Filipino workers will be covered by the government’s free inoculation program.
“Talagang masinsinan sila. Sa application ng vaccination mayroon na, libre lahat ng kababayan natin dito at sila’y kasama rin (Their system is meticulous but applications have already opened. It’s free and our nationals here are covered),” he said. (PNA)