BY CHRYSEE G. SAMILLANO
A COVID-19 frontliner died in his house at Brgy. Alijis, Bacolod City, yesterday after no hospital in Bacolod and as far as Cadiz City could accommodate him as the medical facilities were all overwhelmed with the rising number of virus-hit patients in Negros Occidental.
Jesryl Bancaya, 33, a technical staff of Bacolod Councilor Israel Salanga, who was in-charge of orienting returning overseas Filipino workers (OFWs), passed away yesterday due to cardiac arrest, Councilor Ayasha Joy Villaflor said yesterday.
Vice Mayor El Cid Familiaran said Bancaya was a suspected COVID-19 patient.
Villaflor said the last time she saw Bancaya was on August 11 during the wake of her father as he was a friend of one of her staff. It was also the last day they fetched returning OFWs from the airport.
It was raining when they went home that night and they got drenched. The next day Bancaya had fever, she said.
Villafor added that Bancaya had fever for about nine days but thought he was just having a flu as it was flu season.
He had a seizure yesterday and was brought to several hospitals in Bacolod but they could not accommodate him since these were overwhelmed with patients. He was then brought to a hospital in Cadiz City but was again turned down even if they were informed that he was a frontliner, she said.
Villaflor said Banacaya’s face began to turn bluish when he was brought to their house and he later died.
She recalled that Bancaya celebrated his 33th birthday sometime in July before the Bacolod City Government Center was disinfected.
In his Facebook page, Salanga, chairman of the Action team on Returning OFWs (ARTO), described Bancaya a “frontliner, a partner in crime, travel buddy, a best friend, a brother and his number one supporter.”
“You just don’t know how much you will be missed. I never thought it would be this painful to lose a friend. I can only imagine the pain your family is going through right now. Thank you for everything Jaz,” Salanga posted on his Facebook page.
Bancaya was also former technical assistant of former Bacolod Councilor Caesar Distrito.*