Jail officials say nine positive for COVID-19
The Bureau of Jail Management and Penolgy (BJMP) said nine persons deprived of liberty (PDL) and nine jail officers were tested positive for COVID-19 pandemic.
This was announced by Jail Chief Insp. Xavier Solda, BJMP spokesman in a virtual press conference on Friday.
"Last April 13, I reported at the Laging Handa briefing that we have isolated 21 PDL were suspected cases and were isolated in Quezon City Jail. They were swabbed, and the result is out: we have nine PDL and nine personnel who were tested positive for COVID-19," he said.
"Now, we are doing an extensive contact tracing. We have a team assigned to do it. As our personnel is concerned, they are already on lockdown since March 20. That is why their family and the public does not have to worry," Solda said.
"Since we are already observing reverse isolation for PDL manifesting COVID19-like symptoms, meaning if you have cough, fever, and colds, or you have premedical conditions, we can ascertain with slight ease where to focus our efforts from among the total number of PDLs we have in the facility," he added.
Solda said the BJMP continues to test concerned PDLs through the health department of Quezon City and the Department of Health.
"The Chief, BJMP Jail Director Allan Iral directed to continue extensive contact tracing to detect from among our PDLs who are possible carriers and isolate them to our quarantine facility where they will be treated except those with severe symptoms which is better to be managed in a hospital," he said.
"We will continue caring for the infected PDL until they fully recovered and fit enough to be reintegrated back to their respective cells," he added.
Solda said the personnel guarding the Quezon City Jail will be replaced to check their health condition.
"In fact, we already expanded the conduct of Telemedicine, a technology-supported medical consultation, and we will continue to implement telepsychology to help address the stress, tensions, and other mental health concerns of our PDL and personnel in the said facility," he said.
"We will continue implementing precautionary measures to prevent the spread of infection," he added.
Paul Borlongan, of BJMP Health Service admitted that they needed support and help from the national government.
"We have to admit that we also need help and support from the national government and to the communities we need PPE's (personal protective equipment) and other protective equipment needed to perform our functions," he said.
Solda mentioned that with the help of the Department of Health and the local government of Quezon City, the leadership of Quezon City Jail is ready to provide the needs of the quarantine facility.
"This morning, the DOH NCR visited Quezon City Jail Male Dormitory to help you while we continue the disinfection activity in our facilities," he said.
Solda said earlier this month the BJMP, ICRC (International Committee on Red Cross), and PRC (Philippine Red Cross), was able to establish an emergency medical facility outside the Quezon City Jail as a new isolation facility.
"The ICRC trained our personnel who will be deployed in that facility for proper knowledge of handling and managing infectious diseases," he said.
"We wanted to make sure that our personnel is ready and protected before we allow the PDLs to be transferred to that isolation facility," he added. Robina Asido/DMS