63 more inmates at Cebu City Jail test positive for coronavirus: mayor


Posted at Apr 25 2020 02:35 PM | Updated as of Apr 25 2020 04:19 PM

CEBU CITY - The number of inmates in Cebu City who tested positive for the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has topped 200 after 63 more inmates contracted the virus, Mayor Edgardo Labella said on his Facebook page.

This raises the total number of coronavirus-positive patients at the detention facility to 207, Labella said. 

The Bureau of Jail Management and Penology has yet to release a statement on the exact number of infected inmates and jail personnel in the facility. 

Yesterday, BJMP Region 7 ordered the isolation of the infected individuals to a separate building within the compound. 

They will also be asking the courts to stop committals to the facility with the on-going COVID-19 crisis. 

There are now 411 cases of COVID-19 in Cebu city, the highest in numbers in Central Visayas, official records show. 

Labella attributes the high number of cases to their massive testing as they have acquired over 40,000 test kits. Most of those who tested positive are asymptomatic, he said. 

Last night, more COVID-19 positive individuals from Barangay Labangon were transferred to an elementary school converted into a isolation facility. The barangay is also on lockdown.

Meanwhile, those in quarantine Barangay Luz, which is tagged as the city’s epicenter, is already on their 5th day of isolation. 

Labella also stressed that he would extend the enhanced community quarantine in the city until May 15 upon recommendation of authorities.

However, if there are experts in the community who could assess that the situation has gone better, he will consider lifting the ECQ early.

Several other jail facilities in the country have reported cases of the coronavirus disease as thousands of prisoners and detainees are held in crammed quarters. 

On Friday, the Bureau of Corrections confirmed the death of an inmate at the New Bilibid Prison in Muntinlupa City, the first fatality from coronavirus in the facility. 

Petitions have been filed seeking the temporary release of sick and elderly inmates amid the pandemic. 

-- Report from Annie Perez, ABS-CBN News