An online forum aimed to encourage members of the Filipino Community to continue their vigilance in adhering to health and safety protocols to prevent infection. Organised by the Philippine Embassy in Manama, the first online forum saw the participation of over 20 Filipino community leaders and presidents of different Filipino Community Organizations.

H.E. Ambassador Alfonso A. Ver emphasized that the online forum shared updates, best practices and lessons on COVID-19 to Embassy personnel and the Filipino community, including preventive measures being implemented by the Kingdom of Bahrain and the Embassy, and the effects of the pandemic on mental health. The community was given awareness on how to protect themselves and reduce the risks associated with COVID-19.

Ambassador Ver thanked members of the Filipino community who supported the Embassy’s “Bayanihan Para kay Kabayan Program” and those who by themselves provided support to Filipinos in Bahrain during this pandemic.

Bahrain Specialist Hospital Emergency Room Physician Dr Ansari Macapundag, warned that the threat of COVID-19 still remains, and reminded everyone not to be complacent. He shared the recent statistics of COVID-19 infection in the Philippines and Bahrain, information on the incubation period of the virus, symptoms of infection, risk factors and supportive treatments.

While Bahrain Specialist Hospital a Specialist Pediatrician Dr Jofrelyn Bistoyong reminded everyone not to put facemasks and face shields on kids 2 years and below, Miriam Ann Saboy, a Registered Psychologist and Psychometrician, for her part, discussed the common effects of COVID 19 on mental health which are anxiety, stress and worry.

Three Filipinos who were affected by Covid-19 shared their experiences regarding their bouts with COVID-19. They all emphasized the importance of taking proper precautions to reduce the risk of becoming infected.

Support for Filipinos in Bahrain

Welfare Officer Redina Manlapaz shared that OWWA was able to distribute 3,608 food packs to overseas Filipino workers who were either terminated or are receiving reduced salary due to the pandemic, in cooperation with the Embassy, and FilCom leaders.

Financial support of BD 75 is being provided to those who were infected by COVID19. A total of 62 overseas Filipino workers have so far benefitted from the program, while 27 are still on process.

Consul Bryan Jess Baguio explained that the Embassy created a COVID Database to keep track of the condition of OFWs, to effectively respond to their needs and to develop policy recommendations. He encouraged members of the community to continue reporting to the Embassy cases of COVID19 among Filipinos to facilitate assistance.