Jail guard in Lupon positive for Covid-19

Photo by  Bureau of Jail Management and Penology Davao.
Photo by Bureau of Jail Management and Penology Davao.

THE Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP) Davao recorded its first case of the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) after one of its personnel at Lupon District Jail in Davao Oriental tested positive for Sars-CoV-2, the virus causing the disease.

Jail Chief Superintendent Leo Pajo Baldon, Regional Director of BJMP Davao, said in a statement issued on Thursday evening, June 25, 2020, that one of their jail guards assigned in Lupon District Jail has tested positive for Covid.

An investigation is underway to determine how the person was infected with the virus.

“We are wondering how he was infected, considering he has undergone rapid tests twice with negative results, and he has also undergone 14 days mandatory quarantine prior to their scheduled changing of guards,” Baldon said.

The infected jail guard is currently housed at Mati Local Government Unit Isolation Facility.

The statement read that on May 6, before he assumed duty, the personnel with his team were subjected to rapid tests and all yielded negative results.

On June 1, the personnel returned to his residence in Mati City after his 26 days of duty and subjected himself to home quarantine and was given an instruction by his warden to report to his local barangay health unit to supervise and monitor his home quarantine.

On June 15, the personnel completed his 14-day home quarantine and underwent a rapid diagnostic test together with four other BJMP personnel. The five personnel were declared negative and were given clearance by the Mati Incident Management Team to resume duty at Lupon District Jail.

On June 18, all 14 incoming duty personnel and 11 vulnerable persons deprived of liberty (PDL) of Lupon District Jail were subjected to reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) swab test by the provincial government, however, the personnel failed the test while others tested negative.

“The changing of the guards in the said jail was already suspended. This is in line with the strict implementation of Covid-19 protocols in jail units,” Baldon said.

Understanding the vulnerability of the PDLs, since March 20, BJMP has implemented a nationwide lockdown wherein strict safety and security protocols were in place to prevent the spread of the virus inside their facilities, which poses risk to PDLs due to overcrowding.

BJMP Davao said that the infected jail guard is undergoing confirmatory tests and awaiting results from the City Health Office of Mati.


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