Pinay nurse dies from coronavirus in Riyadh: DFA

Posted at 09/17/13 4:07 PM

MANILA – The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) on Tuesday confirmed that a Filipina nurse has died from the deadly coronavirus in Saudi Arabia.

"Our embassy in Riyadh confirmed that a 41-year old Filipina staff nurse at a hospital in Riyadh died last August 29 and based on a medical report obtained, the deceased tested positive for the coronavirus before her death," said DFA spokesperson Assistant Secretary Raul Hernandez.

Hernandez said the Pinay was admitted to the hospital on August 12 after a fishbone got stuck in her throat. She was discharged two days later.

However, after five days, Hernandez said she suffered fever and coughing. She developed respiratory distress and was put on a ventilator on August 22.

"Two days later, she was diagnosed with severe pneumonia and had to be transferred to the hospital's ICU," he said.

The DFA is now coordinating with the Pinay nurse's family and the Department of Health for the repatriation of her remains.

Hernandez said that another Filipino has recovered after being infected by the virus while confined at the hospital.

"The patient was brought by her employer to the hospital for dialysis and was infected during her confinement. She is now recovering. 

Hernandez urged all Filipinos in Riyadh to follow measures being undertaken by local health authorities to prevent the spread of the virus.

"They should also immediately seek medical attention if they feel any of the disease's symptoms which include fever, cough, shortness of breath and even diarrhea," Hernandez said. 

The Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV) emerged in Saudi Arabia last year. The MERS-CoV has been reported in people in the Gulf, France, Germany, Italy, Tunisia and Britain.