Over 700 Pinoy front-liners contract Covid-19 in UK

MANILA, Dec 31 (Mabuhay)– Over 700 Filipino front-liners in the United Kingdom have so far been infected with the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19), the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) reported on Wednesday.

Based on the report of the Philippine Overseas Labor Office (POLO) in London to Secretary Silvestre Bello III, there are 776 stricken nurses in the European country after at least 26 new cases were recorded among nurses and health care workers in the last two days.

Labor Attache Amy Reyes said the new infections are included in the spike of Covid-19 cases in the UK, where cases have already reached 53,135 with 414 deaths.

The infected Filipino nurses and health care workers are now in isolation and are being given assistance.

Reyes did not say whether the infection is the new variant of the virus, adding only that UK’s National Health Services (NHS) hospitals are “under extreme pressure due to the surge of the cases.”

She added that nine of those infected were deployed in the UK only this year while the rest had been working there since 2019.

“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 statement.

On the other hand, Reyes said two other nurses who were previously infected had recovered.

A total of 614 Filipino front-liners in the UK have recovered from Covid-19 while 36 have died.

Two other Filipinos, one of them a health care worker, are in critical condition. Both have been long-time UK residents.

Meanwhile, Labor Attache Saul de Vries of POLO Singapore said the city state recorded 405 Covid-19 cases among Filipinos, with two new cases involving newly-arrived OFWs.

In a separate report to Bello, he added that the host country started its Covid-19 vaccination drive on Wednesday where health care workers were the first to be inoculated.

Singapore so far has a total of 58,542 Covid-19 cases.

The DOLE’s foreign post in Canada has also reported a spike in Covid-19 cases in the country.

The POLO in Vancouver reported that the new Covid-19 variant “is now in four parts of Canada, including British Columbia and Alberta.” (MNS)

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