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Noted cardiologist and frontliner in fight vs. COVID-19 dies

A cardiologist who was among the frontliners in the fight against coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has passed away, the Philippine Heart Association (PHA) said on Tuesday.

"It is with profound sadness that we announce the loss of one of the great pillars of cardiology, PHA past president Dr. Raul Diaz Jara. He was a great father, teacher, mentor, poet, author, singer, colleague, friend," the PHA said in a statement.


"We deeply mourn for your loss but we want this more to be a celebration of your life. Philippine Cardiology will not be the same without you," it added.

The PHA described Jara as someone who had spent his life teaching and imparting knowledge and wisdom to other people.

"One who made you sweat as he bombards you with questions but would suddenly make you feel at ease as he breaks into a smile. Each trainee he encountered and had taught always has a story to tell about him," the PHA said.

The bereaved family of Jara expressed gratitude to those who had taken care of him amid the battle he was facing.

"We are especially grateful to Philippine Heart Center's doctors, nurses and staff who took care of him and have gone way and beyond their call of duty, as they treated him with compassion, like their own family," the family said.

Jara's death came after a young cardiologist, described by PHA as "young, brilliant, promising," died in the line of duty.

PHA did not identify the doctor, but said he is a "casualty" of the war against COVID-19. 

The Manila Doctors Hospital had also confirmed the death of an anesthesiologist, Dr. Greg Macasaet, due to the disease. It was reported that Macasaet could have contracted the virus after being exposed to a COVID-19 patient who had previous travel abroad.

At present, the Philippines has over 400 confirmed COVID-19 cases. --KBK, GMA News