Once again, Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) has claimed the life of an Ilonggo nurse abroad.
The 44-year-old Marlon Jimenea, whose family hails from Dingle, Iloilo but now residents of Lapaz in Iloilo City, contracted the dreaded disease three weeks ago while working as a nurse at University Hospital Sharjah, United Arab Emirates.
In an interview over Bombo Radyo Iloilo, his mother Heidi confirmed that the Ilonggo nurse succumbed to COVID-19 around 5:40am of Sunday, April 26.
Jimenea, who worked as a healthcare professional in UAE for 10 years, was the first Filipino to die of COVID-19 in UAE. He left behind his wife and 6-year-old child in Dubai, who both tested negative for the coronavirus.
The grieving family is pleading to Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) and other agencies in Dubai to allow them to bring the ashes of Jimenea in Iloilo City.
Jimenea finished his Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree at Central Philippine University (CPU) in 1997. He had his primary education in SPED Integrated School for Exceptional Children and graduated in high school at University of the Philippines-Visayas in Iloilo City.
Recently, another Centralian nurse Divina Amo-Accad working at John D. Dingell Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Detroit, Michigan in the US also passed away due to COVID-19. She was supposed to retire this year at the age of 72 but did not make it.
According to Department of Foreign Affairs, there are a total of 1,343 overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) infected with COVID-19. Of the number, 827 are still admitted in various hospitals, 331 have fully recovered, and 185 have died.