The Philippine Embassy in Malaysia will be distributing food packages to some 800 Filipino households in Sabah as Covid-19 cases in the area surge amid the threat of the more highly contagious Delta variant.

Ambassador Charles Jose said on July 22 that the embassy had limited resources and would focus on the most vulnerable in the Filipino community in Malaysia.

“[W]e are trying to address the basic needs ng ating mga kababayan (of Filipinos here) which is pagkain (food). So every so often, we try to mount food drives by distributing relief packages to the most affected and most vulnerable segment of our Filipino community dito po sa (here in) Malaysia,” Jose said in a televised government briefing.

Along with the Department of Labor and Employment, the Overseas Workers Welfare Association, and the Department of Social Welfare and Development, the embassy distributed relief packages to some 400 households in some parts of Malaysia in June.

The embassy has no up-to-date Covid-19 data of Filipinos in Malaysia due to protocols set in health ministries in Southeast Asia, but said there were 1,135 Filipinos in Malaysia infected with the virus, 671 recovered cases, and 13 deaths since March 2020.

“So far we have not yet received any request for hospitalization assistance from Filipinos who had been infected by the Covid-19 virus, especially by the Delta variant. We can say that they have been most possibly given hospitalization assistance for free by the Malaysian government,” Jose said.

Malaysia has reported 951,884 confirmed Covid-19 cases, 806,857 recoveries, and 7,440 deaths even with the “total lockdown” ordered in June.

Nearly 4.8 million individuals from the country were fully vaccinated.

After it has exhausted its supply of Sinovac doses, Malaysia would focus on administering Pfizer doses for its vaccination program.

The embassy said it would continue to extend its financial, shelter, and repatriation assistance, especially to Filipinos who want to go back to the Philippines.

Malaysia is included in a travel ban imposed by the Philippines due to the Covid-19 Delta variant threat. Jelo Ritzhie Mantaring