Coronavirus takes heavy toll on UK’s Filipino community as 29 – including a Grenfell Tower survivor – are believed to have died from Covid-19
- Eighteen Filipino nurses, porters and cares believed to have died from Covid-19
- Virgilio Castro, 63, died April 9 from the virus, after surviving Grenfell Tower
- Twenty one are known to have died from virus, a further eight are suspected
- Learn more about how to help people impacted by COVID
- Learn more about how to help people impacted by COVID
Twenty nine people of Filipino heritage are believed to have died from covid-19 in the UK, including a Grenfell tower survivor.
With the UK death toll now standing at 15,464 one community particularly hit by the devastating virus appears to be those from the Philippines, many of whom were working within the health service.
Eighteen Filipino nurses, porters and care staff are now believed to have died from the virus whilst working to save Britain’s ill and vulnerable in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic.
Virgilio Castro, 63, known as Larry, succumbed to the virus last Thursday, April 9, just three years after escaping the Grenfell tower blaze
A number of others continue to fight for their lives in intensive care.
Virgilio Castro, 63, known as Larry, succumbed to the virus last Thursday, April 9, just three years after escaping the Grenfell tower blaze, which had left him suffering with long-term respiratory problems, reports The Guardian.
For 29 years the bar maintenance supervisor had lived with his family on the 17th floor of Grenfell Tower in North Kensington, west London, until the fire, which took the lives of 72 people and destroyed 120 homes including Mr Castro’s.
Speaking at the public Inquiry into the fire Mr Castro who lost many people he knew in the fire said: ‘The Grenfell Tower fire is such a tragedy. It shouldn’t have been allowed to happen and I want the public inquiry to ensure it can never happen again.’
Nurse Amor Padilla Gatinao, 50, (left) came to the UK in 2002 and dedicated her career to the NHS. Mother-of-one Linnette Cruz, 51, was a senior head nurse at a practice in Sketty, Swansea (right) who lost her life to Covid-19
Amor Padilla Gatinao and husband Mario. She was the third Filipino in the NHS to lose her life to Covid-19
Adding: ‘I have watched my daughter grow up in that flat and have many fond memories of living there as a family.’
The Guardian has confirmed the deaths of 21 Filipinos from covid-19 in the UK, with a further eight people believed to have died after contracting the virus.
Other Filipino victims of covid-19 in the UK include nurse John Alagos, 23, who had been caring for patients with coronavirus at Watford general hospital and is believed to be the youngest medic in the UK to have died from the virus.
Last weekend Oscar King Jr (pictured) and Elbert Rico, both porters at John Radcliffe hospital in Oxford, died from the virus
Last weekend Oscar King Jr and Elbert Rico, both porters at John Radcliffe hospital in Oxford, died from the virus.
King Jr died on Saturday just an hour after being brought into hospital, his wife Twilight is currently recovering after also being hospitalised with the virus, the couple have a ten-year-old-daughter, reports The Guardian.
Leilani Medel, 41, a nurse from Bridgend, south Wales, who worked in UK care homes for over ten years, died on April 10. Her husband remains in critical condition.
Elbert Rico with his family. He died from Covid-19 after working as a porter at John Radcliffe hospital in Oxford
Linette Cruz, a senior nurse at Brynteg dental practice in Sketty, Swansea, and mother-of-one died on Tuesday from the virus.
Elvira Bucu, 50, mother-of-three and care worker, died on April 3 as her husband also fought for his life against the virus.
Leilani Medel, 41, a nurse from Bridgend, south Wales, who worked in UK care homes for over ten years, died on April 10
Leilani Dayrit, a nurse at the Hospital of St Cross in Rugby, died on April 7, from suspected coronavirus.
Amor Padilla Gatinao, 50, who worked as a nurse at St Charles Hospital, Ladbroke Grove, West London, died after falling ill on Mother’s Day.
Her husband, Mario, said that he begged paramedics to take his wife but they refused.
Mr Padilla Gatinao thinks his wife caught the virus while working at the hospital in west London.
The widower says that the death has left him and his three children devastated. Her family suspect Mrs Padilla-Gatinao, who suffered from asthma, type-2 diabetes and hyperthyroidism, caught Covid-19 due to not having the right PPE.
Other members of the community who have lost their life to coronavirus include Arnel Ganias, a driver at Heathrow Airport, and Romeo Castillo Jr, 34, who caught the virus while on a work reward trip to Mauritius.
Earlier this month Piers Morgan used his platform on Good Morning Britain to thank members of the Filipino community for their work in the health service.
The journalist thanked the ‘amazing number of Filipinos working in the NHS and unsung heroes like so many.
‘It’s worth bearing in mind when we talk about immigrants in this country, these are the immigrants currently saving people’s lives. Coming here and actually enriching our country and doing an amazing job.’
Other members of the community who have lost their life to coronavirus include Arnel Ganias, a driver at Heathrow Airport, (left) and Romeo Castillo Jr, 34, (right)
Of the 200,000 Filipinos in the UK, 18,500 work in the NHS, according to data from the House of Commons library in 2019, sourced by The Guardian, making Filipinos the third most numerous nationality working in the NHS after British and Indians.
Antonio Lagdameo, Philippine ambassador to the UK, told The Guardian: ‘We are are deeply saddened by reports of Filipino staff at the NHS who are either infected by Covid-19 or have succumbed to the disease. Our thoughts are with their loved ones.
‘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.
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