Filipino nurses in the United Kingdom are asking for ‘additional protection’ against Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) so that they can work safely.
Filipino UK Nurses Association made the statement after a major study showed that 20% of those who died of COVID-19 are South Asians after admitted in the hospital of United Kingdom. In Wales, seven of 16 health workers who passed away due to the disease came from the Philippines, the highest among minority ethnic groups.
Katherine Kabasan Rose, of the Filipino Association for Community Empowerment in Wales – who is also an agency nurse – said: “Most of us here are on the front line and that has scared us.”
Rose, who has worked as a nurse in Wales for nearly 20 years, said she did not work during the first two weeks of the crisis but quickly decided she needed to help.
“I have the skills, why wouldn’t I be involved? And I want to be there, that’s the reason why I’m here, this is what I love doing,” she added.
Rose said she believes the hard-working nature of Filipinos means many are unwilling to refuse to work, but she implored her compatriots to make their voices heard.
“I think for my fellow Filipinos here, I think we should be more assertive,” she said. “If you feel like you’re unsafe then please, please don’t go where you feel unsafe.”
The UK has one of the highest levels of foreign-born nurses in the EU, with an estimated 40,000 Filipino staff employed in the NHS. (via BBC)