Filipino nurse dies after contracting Covid-19

A Filipino nurse has died after contracting Covid-19 in London.

Melujean Ballesteros, 60, who is originally from the Philippines, died at St Mary’s Hospital in Paddington, London, on Sunday, just two days after being admitted.

Speaking to PA news agency, her son, Rainier, 37, said: “My mum is a dedicated and very caring nurse.

“She started her career in the UK in 2003, she loved her work as a nurse.”

Rainier, who lives in Calauag in the Philippines, said Mrs Ballesteros had a fever and cough in mid-March and self-isolated for nine days.

But on Friday Rainier said the family convinced her to visit the hospital due to her worsening condition, and so she was picked up by ambulance and was admitted. She died two days later.

St Mary’s Hospital – London – stock
St Mary’s Hospital (NIck Ansell/PA)

Mrs Ballesteros is survived by her two sons, Rainier and Bryan, 38, who also lives in the Philippines, and husband Luis, 64, who lives in the UK.

The news follows the deaths of two Filipino porters from John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford, Oscar King Jr and Elbert Rico, who died on Saturday.

Elsewhere, Filipino nurse Leilani Dayrit, who worked at St Cross Hospital in Rugby, died on April 7.

A Commons library report published last year found that more than 18,000 Filipinos work in the NHS, third only to the numbers from Britain and India.

Philippine ambassador Antonio Lagdameo, said: “Filipino health workers have served tirelessly and courageously at the frontlines of the war against this pandemic, and their contribution to the ongoing effort to save lives is nothing but immense.

“The escalation of confirmed Covid-19 cases and Covid-19-related deaths point out the undeniable truth that this disease is an existential threat even to the most healthy and fit among us.”

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