MANILA - Seven Filipinos have died due to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in New York, the Philippine Consulate General in the US city said Friday.
"Nakalulungkot na 7 na sa ating mga kababayan ang nasawi dahilan sa sakit na ito," Consul General Claro Cristobal said during the Laging Handa press briefing on the coronavirus.
(It's unfortunate that 7 of our compatriots have succumed to this disease.)
Cristobal did not give further information about the fatalities.
He said the Filipino community in New York is one of the biggest Pinoy groups in America, with 143,000 based there. Most Filipinos there are immigrants, he said.
Just like Filipinos back home, kababayans in New York have been careful, that is why only a handful of them are affected by the pandemic, he said.
Cristobal, however, did not give an exact number of Filipinos now infected with the virus.
"Ilang dosena ang kasalukuyang nasa mga ospital at inilalaban ang kanilang mga buhay dahil sa COVID-19," he said.
(Several dozens are currently in the hospitals fighting for their lives because of COVID-19.)
US reports placed the total number of COVID-19 infections in New York at over 92,000, with more than 2,300 deaths.
Cristobal shared that Pinoys mostly affected by the virus are those on a short-term visit to the country.
"Sila ay kasama sa tinatawag na exchange visitor program na mga trainees, teachers, doctors na nagdadalubhasa dito sa America," he said.
(They are trainees, teachers, doctors who are part of exchange visitor programs in America.)
He said they were advised to return home to the Philippines.
"Mayroon po tayong mga natanggap na hiling, humihingi ng tulong para sa kanilang pagkain at tirahan habang hindi pa nakakabalik sa Pilipinas," said Cristobal.
(We received a request for help for food and accommodation while they have yet to return to the Philippines.)
Meanwhile, he continues to appeal to Filipinos in New York to stay at home and follow guidelines set by the state.