A picture shows a family in Birkenhead, northwest England on April 5, 2020 watching Britain's Queen Elizabeth II deliver a special address to the UK and Commonwealth recorded at Windsor Castle in relation to the coronavirus outbreak. Queen Elizabeth II urgeed people to rise to the challenge posed by the coronavirus outbreak, in a rare special address to Britain and Commonwealth nations on Sunday.
AFP/Paul Ellis
Philippine-born nurse passes away working UK's coronavirus frontline — report
Franco Luna (Philstar.com) - April 5, 2020 - 2:31pm

MANILA, Philippines — A nurse born in the Philippines passed away after working on the United Kingdom's frontline against the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

He was just 23 years old. 

According to a report published by national daily tabloid newspaper The Mirror, John Alagos, 23, became sickly after working a full 12-hour shift tending to COVID-19 patients at Watford General Hospital.

Despite the long hours, the nurse was reportedly made to stay on duty because his ward was low on personnel at the time. 

Reports said that his grieving 50-year-old mother, Gina Gustilo, told the Daily Malil, “I asked 'why didn’t you come home?' He said he had asked other staff but they said they were short of staff and they did not let him go.” She later discovered him unconscious and “turning blue” in his bed.

He is reportedly the youngest health worker in the UK to succumb to the virus.

DFA brings home Filipinos

Data from Department of Foreign Affairs shows that there were some 200,000 Filipino workers in the United Kingdom as of 2014. 

Throughout the past week, the department has been welcoming back repartriates from other countries including the United States, Italy and Germany. 

Health workers at the frontlines on long shifts are among those most exposed to the virus, and the strenuous conditions, endless hours and lack of personel protective equipment have done little to alleviate their dire situation.

In the past month, numerous healthcare groups in the Philippines have called on the government to provide more comprehensive support for frontliners putting themselves at risk of contracting the virus. 

READ: Groups call for COVID-19 testing, better support and pay for health workers

Public officials have begun donating their salaries while apparel exporters are set to commence production of medical-grade PPEs for frontliners. 

According to Worldometers, there are over 1,274,578 confirmed cases of novel coronavirus worldwide along with some 69,487 deaths as of this writing. 

The United Nations has warned the international community that the "whole of humanity" was put at risk by the novel coronavirus, saying millions could die if collective action was not taken. — with reports from Agence France-Presse

If you believe you have come into possible contact with infected patients, you may be directed to the proper office of the Department of Health for advice through the following lines: (632) 8651-7800 local 1149/1150 or (632) 165-364.

You may also opt to call the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine at (02) 8807-2631/ 8807-2632/ 8807-2637.

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