An NHS healthcare worker from the Philippines who died after complaining of breathing problems had been infected with coronavirus, an inquest has heard.

Allan Macalalad, 44, was employed in the operating department at the University Hospital of Wales in Cardiff when he became unwell last month.

The coroner's court for South Wales Central in Pontypridd heard the theatre assistant was admitted to the Royal Glamorgan Hospital in Llantrisant on May 17, complaining of a "shortness of breath".

A CT scan at the hospital showed the father of one had a blood clot in his lungs, and after suffering a cardiac arrest he died on May 26, with tests showing that he had been infected with Covid-19.

Coroner's assistant Lauren Howitt told the court a post-mortem examination was not carried out, but hospital consultants had provided a provisional cause of death as "pulmonary thromboembolism, Covid-19, and Type 2 diabetes".

She told the inquest opening that Mr Macalalad was born in the Philippines before moving to the UK, and had most recently lived in the village of Llwynypia in South Wales with his wife Elsie, a nurse, and their son Justin.

Coroner Graeme Hughes said: "My officers will now continue with their investigation into the circumstances surrounding Mr Macalalad's death, in particular focusing upon his condition in the weeks preceding his death."

The coroner adjourned the inquest for a final hearing on May 20 2021.

Credit: PA Images

There has been a disproportionately high number of deaths among Filipinos working in the NHS and care services during the coronavirus pandemic, with claims that Filipinos have the highest death rate of staff in the sector.

The PA news agency has verified 188 frontline health and care deaths during the pandemic, of which 28 (15%) were people of Filipino heritage.

After his death, Mr Macalalad, who had worked in theatres helping treat eye conditions, was described by colleagues as a "perfect gentleman" and a "loyal team player".

Allan was a carpenter by trade and had lived an interesting life before settling in Cardiff with his wife Elsie, who is also a nurse with a neighbouring health board. He is survived by Elsie and his son Justin, to whom we send our deepest condolences. Elsie has asked the University Health Board to also convey how wonderful and loving a husband, father and son he was and that he was also a very generous and genuine person.

Cardiff and Vale University Health Board Spokesperson