At least 25 Filipino healthcare workers in the United States (US) have reportedly died from the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).
They are part of the more than 900 healthcare workers who were documented by the KFF’s Kaiser Health News (KHN) and Guardian US, which began their “Lost on the Frontline” reporting project since spring.
According to a report published on KHN’s website, these Filipinos formed part of the 53 workers born outside the US that died there.
The report highlighted that many health care workers are using surgical masks that are far less effective and have put them in jeopardy.
“Emails obtained via a public records request showed that federal and state officials were aware in late February of dire shortages of PPE. Medical workers began to resort to parking-lot deals and DIY projects to get protective gear themselves,” a portion of the report reads.
According to the report, 53 had inadequate personal protective equipment (PPE). Most of the profile of those who died were 64 nurses. But there are also physicians, pharmacists, first responders, and hospital technicians, among others.
In a separate report published by Inquirer.net, they’ve identified three Filipino healthcare workers who died due to COVID-19 and were included in the said report.
They were 66-year-old Hazel Mijares, a licensed practical nurse; 44-year-old Ali Dennis Guillermo, also a nurse; and 40-year-old Don Ryan Batayola, an occupational therapist.
While other healthcare workers are calling for more attention to this problem, friends and families of those who have died due to COVID-19 in the frontline are being remembered thru online memorials hoping that their deaths will not be in vain.