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A Filipino nurse has died after contracting Covid-19 in London.

Melujean Ballesteros, 60, who is originally from the Philippines, died at St Mary’s Hospital in Paddington, London, on Sunday, just two days after being admitted.

Ballesteros is survived by her two sons, Rainier and Bryan, who live in the Philippines, and husband Luis, who lives in the UK.

Her colleagues and friends have been raising money for her funeral on Go Fund Me.

Faz Ghooloo, who set the fund up, said she would be remembered for “her cheese cake, her food, her smile, her generosity, her hard work, her kindness, her humbleness, her tenacity, her support and many other countless talents that she had”.

Marcia Monteiro

Fundraising for our NHS hero MJ! Every little helps! ?

April 13, 2020

Rainier, who lives in Calauag in the Philippines, said Ballesteros had a fever and cough in mid-March and self-isolated for nine days.

But on Friday, Rainier said the family convinced her to visit the hospital due to her worsening condition, and so she was picked up by an ambulance and was admitted. She died two days later.

Speaking to PA news agency, her son, Rainier, 37, said: “My mum is a dedicated and very caring nurse. She started her career in the UK in 2003, she loved her work as a nurse.”

The news follows the deaths of two Filipino porters from John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford, Oscar King Jr and Elbert Rico, who died on Saturday.

Elsewhere, Filipino nurse Leilani Dayrit, who worked at St Cross Hospital in Rugby, died on April 7.

A Commons library report published last year found that more than 18,000 Filipinos work in the NHS, third only to the numbers from Britain and India.

Philippine ambassador Antonio Lagdameo, said:

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.

The escalation of confirmed Covid-19 cases and Covid-19-related deaths point out the undeniable truth that this disease is an existential threat even to the most healthy and fit among us.


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