A total of 83 Filipino registered nurses are among the more than 3,200 health care workers who have died of COVID-19 in the United States, according to data from the US National Nurses United.
“As of Feb. 11, 2021, we find that at least 329 registered nurses and 3,233 health care workers, including these registered nurses, have died of COVID-19 and related complications while working in health care settings,” the NNU said in an update to its “Sins of Omissions” report first published in September 2020.
Of the 329 deaths, the group said 170 of 314 registered nurses for whom race/ethnicity data is available, are nurses of color, including Filipinos.
“Eighty-three (26.4 percent) of the 314 registered nurses, for whom race/ethnicity data is available, who have died of COVID-19 and related complications are Filipino. They make up 4 percent of registered nurses in the United States,” it said.
“Just under half (48.8 percent) of the registered nurses of color who have died to date have been Filipino.”
The NNU said it documented the deaths using media reports, social media, obituaries, union memorials, federal and state reporting and its own internal reports.
But the group believes their estimates of more than 3,200 deaths are conservative as many cases have not been reported by traditional news sources.
“NNU believes many of these deaths would have been prevented if greater effort had been made to plan for and overcome the pitfalls of just-in-time supply chain management. Scaling up the capabilities for the stockpiling and rapid distribution of personal protective equipment (PPE) must be among the highest priorities of the hospital and nursing home industries and federal and state agencies going forward,” it said.
Aside from Filipinos, the report also said that 53 Black registered nurses (16.9) percent, died of COVID-19. Black nurses make up 12.4 percent of RNs in the US.
As of Friday, there have been 29,317,562 confirmed cases of COVID-19, including 532,971 deaths in the US, based on data from the World Health Organization, the country worst hit by the virus.
— with a report from TJ Manotoc, ABS-CBN News