OVER 2,000 persons deprived of liberty (PDLs) contracted coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) despite the stringent measures being implemented in prisons, Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP) spokesperson Xavier Solda said.
As of Friday, March 19, 2021, 2,416 PDLs and 1,295 BJMP personnel have been infected.
Solda said 26 PDLs and six BJMP personnel died from Covid-19 while 2,216 and 1,237, respectively, recovered.
Solda said there were 115 active Covid cases among PDLs. They are in the isolation facilities of the BJMP and are under strict monitoring of its health service.
He noted that those PDLs who succumbed to the virus had pre-existing conditions such as diabetes and hypertension.
“Patuloy ang expansion sa ating mga health and isolation facilities para matugunan ang pangangailangan ng ating mga PDLs lalo na ngayon panahon ng pandemya,” said Solda in a telephone interview.
Solda said among the preventive measures they are imposing to avoid the further spread of the virus is the “no contact visitation” which has been in effect since March 2020, the monthly change of personnel assigned inside BJMP facilities and have direct contact to the PDLs, the mandatory wearing of face masks among PDLs and personnel, and the 14-day isolation of newly committed PDLs with or without Covid-19 symptoms.
He said they were expanding and developing their facilities in order to sustain electronic visitations that allow PDLs to talk to their loved ones through phone calls or video calls.
“Ang ating electronic dalaw ay scheduled at supervised by our personnel para organized at mabigyan lahat ng chance na makausap ang kanilang mga mahal sa buhay,” Solda said.
“Pinapayagan din naman po ang mga paabot or ‘yung pagpapadala sa ating mga PDLs ngunit ito po ay kailangan munang sumailalim sa masinsinang sanitation para siguraduhin na malinis at walang virus ang mga padala at gayun din at inspection para siguraduhin na walang illegal na kontrabando sa package,” he added.
Solda said the personnel in charge of each facility are being changed every month which means a personnel assigned to deal directly with PDLs are contained inside the facility for a month.
“Pag naka-duty ka sa loob hindi ka pwede lumabas para maiwasan na baka sa kanila pa makuha ang virus. Hinati kasi natin yan every month may team loob at team labas. Monthly ang palitan nila at bago ang bawat palitan ‘yung mga personnel na du-duty sa loob kailangan mag negative muna sa swab,” he said.
There are a total of 117,027 PDLs in 470 BJMP facilities in the country.
Meanwhile, in the Philippine National Police (PNP), a total of 13,147 police personnel have contracted the virus that causes Covid-19 as of March 21.
Of the total, 1,399 were active cases: 340 were inside Camp Crame, 509 in the National Capital Region Police Office and 550 in police regional offices.
The PNP said 48 of the active cases were in hospitals while 1,352, including PNP Chief Debold Sinas, who were asymptomatic were in quarantine facilities.
The number of fatalities in the PNP due to Covid-19 has increased to 36.
The latest fatality was a 54 year-old pregnant officer assigned at the Eastern Police District.
Meanwhile, Lieutenant General Guillermo Eleazar, PNP officer-in-charge, said 2,266 police medical workers nationwide have received the first dose of Covid-19 vaccine. Of the total, 1,773 were vaccinated with Coronavac while 493 received Astrazeneca shots. (SunStar Philippines)