An OFW gives birth at her employer’s house in Jeddah while waiting for special flight bound for home amid the travel restrictions impose due to COVID-19.
OFW Gives Birth in Saudi
Teresa (not her real name) was supposed to be home after the Ramadan period but was stuck at her employer’s home in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia due to COVID-19 flight restrictions. While waiting for the special flight home, she gives birth to her baby at her employer’s house.
The employer had already called an ambulance for Teresa but the baby was out before the emergency vehicle arrived at past 12 AM on Wednesday, June 24.
While many quickly frowned upon her hearing story, most especially because she’s a domestic helper, Teresa said that the child is actually her husband’s baby. Last October, Teresa went home to the Philippines on emergency leave due to her mom’s passing. It was during that short vacation that she got pregnant.
When she went back to Saudi and learned about the pregnancy, she immediately told her employers about the situation. The kind employers had been so understanding of the situation and even offered to pay for her plane tickets so she could go home after the Ramadan.
Her employers also issued her an exit visa, something that she needs so she could properly go back home. But travel restrictions due to COVID-19 meant that Teresa was not able to catch a flight home.
Teresa had already processed the papers she needed to take the repatriation flight through the Philippine Overseas Labor Office (POLO) but this took too long. The baby arrived first because repatriation flights and chartered flights are too few but the OFWs are too many.
Thankfully, her agency promised to help. They are now providing Teresa and her baby with temporary accommodations while awaiting her flight home.
“We will bring her to our accommodation. She will stay there while processing the repatriation. We will help the worker kung ano ang maitutulong namin para ma-expedite yung pag-uwi nila ng baby niya, and then of course we will coordinate sa embassy kasi they are the one who will help sa pagpapauwi especially sa mga documents,” explained a representative from the recruitment agency.
What are Repatriation Flights?
Due to the bulk of flights being suspended due to COVID-19 restrictions, governments around the world scrambled to operate repatriation flights to bring their citizens home. These people were stranded in other parts of the globe and are unable to go home unless the government steps in to create these special flights.
Depending on the country, these stranded people might have to pay for the flights out of their own pockets or get subsidized fares or even get free flights home.