COVID-19 cases in prisons now at 117 - DOJ

Mike Navallo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at May 15 2020 03:58 PM

MANILA - The number of inmates who contracted the coronavirus disease in the country's prisons has soared to 117, Justice Undersecretary Markk Perete disclosed Friday.
 
Forty of these patients are from the New Bilibid Prison (NBP) in Muntinlupa while the remaining 77 are from the Correctional Institution for Women (CIW) in Mandaluyong.
 
The Bureau of Corrections, which manages the country's prison facilities, has meanwhile recorded 80 probable cases and 31 suspected cases as of Thursday.
 
Of the 117 confirmed cases, 4 patients have so far died while 4 have tested negative and are waiting for results of a second test. One has recovered, Perete said.
 
BuCor announced separately on Thursday that 8 CIW prisoners and 1 personnel have recovered.
 
Perete's disclosure is the only announcement made so far regarding the number of COVID-19 patients under the BuCor's watch.
 
Its last announcement was on May 8 when it reported 58 confirmed cases: 49 prisoners in CIW, 4 prisoners in NBP, 3 CIW personnel and 2 NBP personnel.
 
At the time, only 3 prisoners have died -- 1 in NBP and 2 from CIW. No additional information was provided about the 4th death.
 
BuCor had previously denied reports that dead bodies were piling up inside the national penitentiary.
 
RETURN TO CIW
 
The CIW prisoners who recovered will return to CIW, BuCor said in its Facebook post.
 
More than 50 female prisoners from CIW were transferred to Site Harry, a quarantine facility at Bilibid, after they tested positive, prompting the local government to protest out of fear of a possible spread of the coronavirus in the city.
 
But Perete said Friday the CIW inmates will now be quarantined at the women's prison facility. 

"Following the augmentation of the quarantine facility at the CIW, PDLs (persons deprived of liberty) from that facility previously brought to Site Harry will be returned to Mandaluyong where they will continue their quarantine/isolation," he said.