Filipinos disproportionately hit by COVID-19
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This article was published 30/03/2021 (794 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
The Pallister government failed to release race-based and workplace COVID-19 data to Manitobans for months. Now that this data has been released, it’s confirmed what we already knew — people of colour, specifically Filipinos, have been disproportionately impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Filipinos make up the largest share of COVID-19 cases compared to our share of the population in the province. The data also shows that Filipino women were more affected by the virus than other Filipino Manitobans. We currently represent 12 per cent of all COVID-19 cases, even though we only make up seven per cent of the provincial population.
Filipino Manitobans are not simply contracting COVID-19 due to individual behaviour, but largely due to the jobs they work. Many Filipinos, especially women, work in the health-care sector in housekeeping, as health-care aides, nurses, home-care workers, and personal-care home workers.
Additionally, many Filipinos work in food manufacturing, the service industry, as well as in the transportation sector. All these sectors have some of the highest rates of COVID-19 infection in Canada. Filipinos also tend to live in multi-generational households or in tight living quarters, which leads to easier spread of the virus.
The only real response by the Pallister government to the race-based data has been to distribute COVID-19 information in several different languages.
This would help solve the problem if COVID-19 infection was due to people not following directions, rather than contracting it at their workplaces. Critics have argued that the government needs to do a better job of taking an occupational health approach for COVID-19 safety at work.
In a public health emergency, government needs to implement paid sick leave, which is something that 58 per cent of Canadians do not have. People who have slight symptoms like coughs or sore throats must choose between staying home without income or going to work.
The Progressive Conservatives are forcing Manitobans into a very difficult dilemma — people have to choose between providing for their families and keeping others safe. Paid sick leave would solve this dilemma by allowing people to collect partial income while staying home from work when experiencing COVID symptoms.
I have heard from my constituents in Notre Dame and across Manitoba that they do not feel empowered or supported by this government.
Our team and I will continue to work on behalf of all Manitobans to ensure that the proper responses are taken to combat COVID-19.
If you have any questions or concerns, please reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org or over the phone at 204-788-0800.
Notre Dame constituency report
Malaya Marcelino is the NDP MLA for Notre Dame.