Coronavirus-stricken inmates in PH now at 161

ABS-CBN News

Posted at May 27 2020 04:52 PM | Updated as of May 27 2020 05:17 PM

MANILA (UPDATE) — A total of 161 inmates in two penal facilities in the Philippines have contracted the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) as of May 25, the Department of Justice (DOJ) said Wednesday. 

In a statement, DOJ spokesman Undersecretary Markk Perete said confirmed COVID-19 cases in the country's prisons soared to this number from the 117 recorded by the Bureau of Corrections' (BuCor) last May 15.

Of the total, 6 have died while 8 have recovered, Perete said. 

He said 82 of the coronavirus-stricken prisoners are at the New Bilibid Prison in Muntinlupa City, while 79 are at the Correctional Institute for Women in Mandaluyong. 

There are, meanwhile, 19 prisoners at the San Ramon Prison and Penal Farm in Zamboanga City who "are considered suspect cases," he said. 

Four other penal farms and facilities under BuCor have had no reports of the contagious disease, he said. 

Among BuCor staffers, meanwhile, 33 have contracted the disease, including 26 at Bilibid. 

Earlier, inmates, their relatives and advocates sought temporary release of sick and elderly inmates, citing their risk of contracting the disease in the country's cramped prisons and detention facilities. 

As of Wednesday, the Philippines has recorded 15,049 cases of COVID-19. Of these, 3,506 have recovered while 904 have succumbed to the disease.