92-year-old ‘lola’ is Manila’s oldest COVID-19 survivor

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Lola Amanda —PHOTO COURTESY OF MANILA PUBLIC INFORMATION OFFICE

MANILA, Philippines — Ninety-two-year-old “Lola” Amanda Morales, a resident of Pandacan district, became the oldest COVID-19 survivor in Manila after her discharge from Santa Ana Hospital where she was confined for 12 days for mild symptoms.

Morales, along with her senior citizen daughter and two grandchildren, were declared as coronavirus-free on Oct. 13.

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In a TV interview, Morales said she survived COVID-19 with the help of the staff of the public hospital.

“Don’t lose hope in living. We have nurses and doctors who will take care of us. And let us always pray and ask for God’s mercy,” she added.

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Although Morales’ symptoms were mild when she was admitted to the hospital on Oct. 1, doctors were worried that her condition could worsen due to existing comorbidities.

According to Dr. Grace Padilla, Santa Ana Hospital director, the nonagenarian was considered “very vulnerable” to the possible complications arising from COVID-19 as she had heart surgery five years ago, on top of hypertension and arthritis.

During her confinement, Morales experienced diarrhea and developed pneumonia.

“We were afraid because if her condition worsened, she might have respiratory failure. Would she overcome this now that she’s 92?” Padilla said.

Morales, however, beat the odds, making her one of the 17,609 Manilans who have so far recovered from COVID-19, as of Sunday. The figure accounted for 94.7 percent of the 18,790 total cases. Fatalities, on the other hand, numbered 557, or 2.96 percent of the total.

‘Greater risk’

Based on data from the Department of Health, the bulk of those who contracted the virus nationwide were from the working age group, or between 20 and 54 years old.

But, most of those who died were age 60 and above, accounting for 62.6 percent of the total.

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According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the risk for severe illness from COVID-19 increases with age, with older adults at highest risk.

Those 85 and older, including Morales, have the “greatest risk,” as they are “13 times higher to be hospitalized” and “630 times higher to die out of COVID-19” compared to younger adults between ages 18 and 29.


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