COVID-19 cases among Filipino medical frontliners based in the United Kingdom rose to 26 and the number included nine newcomers believed to have arrived there when the pandemic started during the first quarter of 2020.
In a report to Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III, the Philippine Overseas Labor Office (POLO) in London said the 26 new cases consisted of nurses and health care workers whose conditions were reported in the last two days.
Labor Attache Amy Reyes did not indicate in the report whether or not any of the Filipinos were infected with the new strain of novel coronavirus.
It will be recalled that it was England’s medical authorities that first confirmed the existence of the new COVID-19 variant that is said to be more contagious.
The number of new positive cases among Filipinos brought to 776 the total of medical frontliners infected with the dreaded disease.
Reyes said the fresh cases of COVID-19 infection among Filipinos gave the UK 53,135 total as of Dec. 29. A total 414 of them have died.
Reyes said the previous day’s total was 41,385, indicating a high 11,750 new cases. Death toll increased by 57, from 357 on Dec. 28 to 414 the following day.
She reported that the continued rise in COVID-19 infections has placed the
UK’s National Health Services (NHS) hospitals “under extreme pressure due to the surge of the cases.”
The Labor official said the 25 infected Filipino nurses and a health care worker are currently on quarantine and given medical assistance.
According to Reyes, nine of those infected were deployed in UK only this year while the rest had been working in Britain since 2019.
In her report, Reyes also said that two other nurses who were previously infected had recovered for a total of 614 recoveries, while 36 had died. Two other Filipinos, one a healthcare worker, are in critical condition. Both have been long-time UK residents, she added.
“We are sad to note that the new wave of infection in the UK involves more of our frontline Filipino workers,” Bello said.
In a separate report to Bello, Labor Attache Saul de Vries of POLO Singapore said the city state recorded 405 COVID cases among Filipinos, with two new cases involving newly arrived OFWs.