A 41-year-old female Filipino nurse died of MERS coronavirus in Saudi Arabia last month, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said on Tuesday.
The Filipino, whose identity was not disclosed, is the first reported fatality from the Philippines. She died at a hospital in Riyadh last August 29.
A medical report obtained by the Philippine Embassy says the deceased “tested positive for the coronavirus before her death,” Foreign Affairs spokesman Raul Hernandez told a press briefing.
The hospital’s VIP ward supervisor said prior to her death, the Filipina went to the United States for a vacation on July 13. She returned to Riyadh on July 19 and reported for work on July 21.
In mid-August, she complained of fever and coughing and developed respiratory distress. She was put on a ventilator on Aug. 22.
Two days later, she was diagnosed with severe pneumonia and had to be transferred to the hospital’s Intensive Care Unit.
“The hospital’s Deputy Director of Medical Administration said that the remains of the deceased overseas Filipino worker does not pose a public risk for as long as it is placed inside an impermeable body bag,” Hernandez said.
“Her family has already been informed of her demise and we are awaiting the Department of Health’s guidance regarding the repatriation of her remains,” he added.
Hernandez said another Filipina is currently confined at the same hospital after testing positive for Coronavirus. “She is now recovering,” he said.And it took three weeks for the simple fact of her nationality to emerge.