Muscat: Blessy Sam, a 37-year-old staff nurse hailing from the Indian state of Kerala, succumbed to COVID-19 during her month-long battle against the pandemic in Royal Hospital on Tuesday. Her death marks the first such case among frontline public health staff in the country. Earlier a doctor who ran a private health clinic in Muscat died of Coronavirus.
She is survived by her husband, Sam George, children Kezia Sam and Kevin Sam, class 6 and class 2 students of Indian School Wadi Kabir
Her family would remember her as a brave warrior who lost her life while on duty. “Blessy was passionate about caring for the ailing, those who suffer from pain and had a special affection for children,” remembered her husband George who runs his business in Wadi Kabir. “She knew she was going to attend to the Coronavirus patients but was not hesitant to discharge her duties as a nurse.”
Dr Ahmed bin Mohammed al Saeedi, Minister of Health and MoH staff praised the selfless work of Blessy and expressed their condolences to the family.
“With great sadness and sorrow, the Ministry of Health omourns the passing away of nurse Blessy Thomas at the Royal Hospital ICU on Monday due to COVID-19. This is the first death among health workers in MoH. The deceased was a true hero and a role model of hard and sincere work. The Minister of Health, as well as the MoH personnel and all health workers in Oman express their heartfelt condolences to the family of the deceased,” the Ministry of Health said in a statement.
Blessy, who hails from Adoor in Pathanamthitta district of Kerala and a member of the Thiruvalla Vennikkulam Kumblolil family, has always been duty-bound and worked without fear facing death, her colleagues fondly remembered.
“Blessy was with us in the Paediatric ward and she was transferred to COVID-19 ward in Royal Hospital. She returned to Sinaw to work in the COVID-19 ward at the hospital,” Varun, her colleague remembered.
Blessy was admitted after testing positive for COVID-19 but later discharged after recuperating from the infection. Later she was admitted to Ibra hospital followed by Royal Hospital where she breathed her last in the intensive care unit.
Many took to social media to express condolences to the family of the deceased. They also praised the health workers as true warriors and angels. “When I see doctors, nurses, lab technicians and other hospital staff tirelessly take care of patients , I am so grateful,” a tweet said.
At least 7,000 health workers have died around the world after contracting COVID-19. At least 1,320 health workers are confirmed to have died in Mexico alone, the highest known figure for any country, according to Amnesty International,
It also recorded high numbers of health worker deaths in the US (1,077) and Brazil (634), where infection and death rates have been high throughout the pandemic, as well as alarming figures in South Africa (240) and India (573), where infection rates have soared in recent months.
“There must be global cooperation to ensure all health workers are provided with adequate protective equipment, so they can continue their vital work without risking their own lives,” Amnesty said.