Overseas Filipino workers in Libya are facing racism as some locals call them ‘corona’, short for the deadly coronavirus.
It starts as a jest–a local shouting ‘corona’ to a Filipinos because he is of Asian decent.
“The coronavirus disease is no joke. You may think that pointing to a Filipino because he is Asian and shouting corona is a lughing matter. It is not. Anyone can be carrying the virus. It could any person next to you. It could be yourself,” the Philippine Embassy in Libya posted on its official Twitter account.
@PhinLibya concerned over incidents where Filipinos in #Tripoli and other parts of #Libya are accused by some locals of being coronavirus carriers. Among those harassed are nurses who have been treating the sick and wounded. We seek the help of authorities. They must step in. pic.twitter.com/zjYjSc0shm— Elmer G Cato (@elmer_cato) March 23, 2020
There are over a thousand Filipinos living and working in Libya despite of its chaotic environment.
“The next time you see a Filipino, please think twice before you point at her and shout corona. That Filipino could be a medical worker who choose to stay in Libya and risk her life to help doctors and heal you not just from bombs and bullet but also from the coronavirus,” the Embassy added.