MANILA – Two more inmates at the Correctional Institution for Women in Mandaluyong tested positive for the coronavirus, the Bureau of Corrections announced Friday.
“These two PDLs (persons deprived of liberty or inmates) were part of the same batch that were tested at the same time but the results for the two were only released Thursday,” the bureau said in a Facebook post, referring to more than 50 individuals exposed to the first COVID-19 patient.
Of the 51, 18 inmates and 1 corrections staff tested positive for the virus, the BuCor said on Tuesday.
The confirmed cases at the correctional facility now stands at 22.
“They will join their colleagues at the NBP (New Bilibid Prison) quarantine area (Site Harry) following strict transport protocols in cooperation with DOJ (Department of Justice), DOH (Department of Health), ICRC (International Committee of the Red Cross) and other partners,” the bureau added.
Site Harry, the NBP quarantine facility in Muntinlupa, has 300 beds and was constructed “in accordance with WHO and DOH standards, and its management will comply with stringent health protocols,” according to DOJ spokesperson Usec Markk Perete.
“We are coordinating with DPWH for the construction of a bigger quarantine area just in case there is a need for it,” he added.
DOJ Undersecretary Deo Marco inspected the facility on Friday.
Perete said the health department has committed 10,000 COVID-19 test kits to be used at the CIW and the Bilibid, while doctors and nurses at BuCor penal farms and colonies have been augmented.
The DOJ is also coordinating with the PNP and the AFP in case BuCor security personnel needs help. A BuCor CIW staff has also tested positive for the virus.
Meanwhile, Perete pleaded for understanding regarding the Muntinlupa city government’s protest against the transfer of COVID-19 patients from the CIW to the NBP quarantine facility without the knowledge of the LGU.
The Muntinlupa city council has passed a resolution protesting the move.
Perete said his department tried to inform the Muntinlupa LGU about the transfer out of courtesy, but “the relevant local official could not be reached.”
“We (would) like assure the local government of Muntinlupa and the city residents that all precautions and protocols were complied with in the transportation of the individuals from CIW,” he said.
“We, therefore, solicit their utmost understanding and help to minimize the risk of infection in all communities, including the communities in our penal farms and colonies.
“We are confident that everyone shares our concern in promoting and protecting the health and well-being of every Filipino, including our brethren who are in prison.”
Latest tally of COVID-19 cases in Philippine jails:
- Quezon City Jail – 9 inmates, 9 staff
- Correctional Institution for Women Mandaluyong – 21 inmates, 1 staff
- Cebu City Jail – 127 inmates and staff (including 1 inmate dead)
- New Bilibid Prison – 1 inmate