SAUDI ARABIA – The Philippines said Thursday that two of its citizens working in Saudi Arabia have died from the MERS coronavirus. Foreign Department spokesman Charles Jose said their relatives have been informed and efforts were being made to bring the bodies home. “Our consul general in Jeddah confirmed that there were two Filipinos who died of MERS,” he told AFP. “The consulate is helping to repatriate their remains,” he said, adding that the deaths were recorded on May 12 and 18. The identities of the two, as well as other details, were not revealed to protect their relatives’ privacy. This brings the current death toll to 177 worldwide with about 652 reported infections. Thousands of Filipinos work in the Middle East, while it is estimated as many as 10 million work overseas to escape widespread poverty at home. Extinction Protocol
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