How did the Filipina nurse who died of COVID in Abu Dhabi possibly get the virus?

Janette Alano, the Filipina nurse who recently died of COVID-19 in Abu Dhabi, had suspected she got the coronavirus following conversation with a fever-struck staff whom she asked to go home.

This was learned in an interview with Jalyssa, the deceased nurse’s daughter, who said her mom also told her that she and the staff were both wearing masks and were at an arm’s distance from each other.

“Napag-usapan namin if may contact ba sya with anyone suspected. Sabi nya meron silang one staff from work na may fever na pina-uwi nya and at arm’s length lang ang distance and both naman daw sila naka-mask,” Jalyssa recalls.

She said it was April 26 when her 47-year-old mom, who had a history of asthma and diabetes, sent her a message, complaining of breathing difficulties.

“She told me she was having an asthma attack,” Jalyssa said.

Jalyssa Alano (left) and her sister Jelynna (right) with their mom, Janette during happier times. (Photo courtesy of Jalyssa Alano)

She added: “Nag-home treatment siya with a nebulizer and meds nya. Then she booked an appointment sa hospital for check-up since the meds were not working. The following day, April 27 , she went to the hospital but was told to go to ER instead since she was having difficulty of breathing.

“Since then sinuspect na sya for COVID and was admitted na din until lumabas results. They started her treatment and lumabas results after 3 days which showed positive nga for COVID.”

Her mother’s condition deteriorated with coughs, fever, appetite loss and declining oxygen saturation in the body, said Jalyssa.

Janette Alano and her youngest child, Julian, 9. (Photo courtesy of Jalyssa Alano)

“Ina-update nalang nya kami since kami hindi kami maka-visit sa kanya. Then she was moved to a hospital which handles COVID patients. When she was transferred, bumababa ulit ung oxygen saturation nya then nilipat sya sa ICU for close monitoring,” Jalyssa said.

From then on, she added, Janette’s symptoms progressed

“Binigyan na sya ng high flow oxygen then nung hindi pa din umo-ok yung oxygen saturation and breathing nya, she was put in a non-invasive mechanical vent. Nakakapag-reply pa sya sakin that time but limited lang kasi nanghihina na din sya,” Jalyssa said.

It was in the morning of May 9, she said, when she received information that her mom has been intubated.

“Afternoon of that day, they updated me na nagre-respond si mommy sa treatment and okay ung oxygen saturation nya. The next morning, May 10, the hospital called me and told me the news that her condition suddenly deteriorated and they tried to save her but due to the complications she was not able to survive.

“We were all shocked by the news, in-update ko din po agad family ko and we are all saddened that she’s gone,” Jalyssa said.

Jalyssa, 25, said it was back in March when she last saw her mom. She visited her from Sharjah. They had planned for her 48th birthday on May 27,  but as Janette is now gone, a few changes will have to be made.

“Now ang plan na lang po namin ay maybe each of us will bake her a cake and we’ll celebrate her birthday reminiscing all the wonderful memories we had with her,” she said.

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