Inmate, 72, at women's correctional facility tests positive for COVID-19, authorities say

Mike Navallo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Apr 18 2020 08:21 PM

MANILA – A 72-year-old inmate at the Correctional Institution for Women has tested positive for the coronavirus disease or COVID-19, the Bureau of Corrections announced Saturday.

“Correctional Institution for Women (CIW) at Mandaluyong City reported that one PDL (person deprived of liberty or inmate) patient hospitalized at the Sta. Ana Hospital, tested positive for SARS CoV 2 (causative agent of Covid-19),” the BuCor said in a Facebook post Saturday afternoon.

Department of Justice spokesperson Undersecretary Markk Perete confirmed the report to the media.

“I was informed earlier that the PDL from CIW who tested positive for COVID-19 was admitted at the Sta Ana Hospital on Monday. She is 72 years old,” he said.

“CIW is verifying if the PDL who tested positive may have been infected while at the hospital or while she was inside the CIW facility.

“In any event, the CIW management continues to coordinate with the DOH for contact tracing.”

The inmate who tested positive has a history of diabetes milletus type 2 and was diagnosed with community-acquired pneumonia on Monday, on the same day she was brought to the hospital, according to the Facebook post, citing a report from Corrections Superintendent Virginia Mangawit.

Health experts have previously warned that the elderly and those with underlying medical conditions are at most risk of contracting and dying from COVID-19.

“As part of risk mitigation measures at the CIW, contact tracing has been done and all medical personnel and PDL that had had contact with the PDL patient are now being tested for the COVID-19 virus,” the BuCor said.

The bureau added that there are no other positive cases reported or monitored in other prisons and penal farms in the country.

“Rest assured that the lone PDL patient who is now confined at the Sta. Ana Hospital is being attended to by our hospital frontliners,” the BuCor said.

The Department of the Interior and Local Government announced in a press conference that 9 inmates and 9 personnel at a BJMP jail in Quezon City had tested positive for the virus.

A petition is currently pending before the Supreme Court seeking the release of sick and elderly prisoners and detainees in the wake of the rapid spread of COVID-19.

The DOJ earlier said it is still studying pleas to release inmates.