BJMP-7 confirms 1 jail officer infected with COVID-19
CEBU CITY, Philippines — Jail authorities in Cebu are now racing to contain the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in the Cebu City Jail after two inmates and one jail officer were found to have been infected by the virus.
Jail Senior Inspector Jay Ylanan, spokesperson of BJMP-7, confirmed to reporters on Monday, April 20, 2020, that one of their jail officers tested positive of COVID-19.
This brings the total number of individuals from Cebu City Jail infected with the virus to three.
Ylanan said they have isolated six prisoners who were the cellmates of the 41-year-old male inmate that succumbed to COVID-19 last Sunday, April 19, 2020.
He said that they were tracing now those who came in close contact with the three confirmed patients.
The Department of Health in Central Visayas (DOH – 7), for their part, recommended to the BJMP – 7 to continue implementing isolation between infected inmates and jail officers and close contacts from the rest of the compound’s residents.
Cebu City Jail, which is designed to only accommodate 1,900, now has over 6,000 prisoners.
The DOH-7 also said the jail management should closely monitor the health conditions of those, who came in close contact with the patients, and identify other areas for isolation in case the numbers of infected of jail personnel and inmates would increase.
But initial findings showed that the deceased inmate had been admitted to the correctional facility last February 28 or a few days before BJMP-7 ordered all jails in Central Visayas in a lockdown due to threats of COVID-19.
“We suspect the inmate got the virus before he was committed in the Cebu City Jail,” Ylanan.
Ylanan also said they hinted that the jail officer who tested positive of COVID-19 could not be the carrier of the virus.
“The jail officer has been assigned to guard outside. Since the lockdown was ordered last March, the officer was not able to enter the compound’s premises. And it has been a month since we implemented a lockdown,” said Ylanan./dbs
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