A 23-Year-Old Filipino Nurse in the U.K. Died After 12-Hour Shift in COVID-19 Ward

IMAGE John Alagos

A young Filipino nurse is dead after working a 12-hour shift at a hospital in the U.K.

According to a report by the Daily Mail, John Alagos had been taking care of coronavirus patients at the Watford General Hospital when he fell ill. The 23-year-old nurse was the third healthworker in the U.K. believed to have died of COVID-19. 

He couldn’t leave the hospital because it was short-staffed, despite being ill.

According to the report, Alagos fell ill during his 12-hour shift. His mother Gina Gustilo, had asked her son to come home, but was told he was not allowed by the hospital because it was short-staffed. “I asked 'why didn’t you come home?’” said Mrs. Gustilo.  

Gustilo also told the Daily Mail that her son had not been wearing proper PPEs during his shift. “They wear PPE, but not totally protective of the mouth. They wear the normal masks.”

When Alagos finally came home, his mother advised him to take paracetamol, but after a few minutes, she found him “unconscious and turning blue” in his bedroom. Gustilo called for an ambulance, but the medics failed to revive him.

According to Gustilo, her son had no underlying medical conditions.

The hospital released a statement on its staff’s welfare.

Following the death of Alagos, the Watford General Hospital released a statement.

“Our staff are fully briefed on the symptoms of COVID-19 and we would never expect anyone to remain at work if they were showing these symptoms or indeed were unwell in any way.


“We have always kept our staff updated on the latest PPE guidance to make sure they have the right level of protection.” A hospital spokesperson added that “John was very popular and will be missed greatly.”

Alagos was born in the Philippines and moved to the U.K. as a young boy. He became a British citizen afterward.

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Mario Alvaro Limos
Features Editor-at-Large
Mario Alvaro Limos is features editor-at-large at Esquire Philippines, and heads the Lifestyle and Esports content of SPIN.ph as its section editor. Email him at [email protected] and [email protected]
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