Eighteen more persons deprived of liberty (PDLs) at the Correctional Institution for Women (CIW) were infected with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).
CIW Superintendent Virginia Mangawit submitted the report to the Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) Director Gerald Bantag.
One employee of the Correctional Institution for Women also tested positive of COVID-19, aside from the 18 PDLs.
Philippine Red Cross tested 42 PDLS and 9 BuCor medical personnel after an inmate was admitted to a government hospital and tested positive of the virus.
Mangawit reported those who were infected have mild symptoms, while some are asymptomatic.
“They are now being monitored and given vitamins, medicines, and food supplements to strengthen their immune system,” she said.
There are already 3,196 inmates in the CIW, making physical distancing to prevent the spread of the virus almost impossible.
The CIW also conducted contact tracing and isolation of those who exposed to the infected PDLs. All suspected and probable COVID-19 cases were also tested.
They also added supplies of vitamins and food supplements as well as medical personnel. CIW also improved its coordination with government hospitals to receive the PDLs requiring hospitalization.
“The CIW needs more vitamins, food supplements that promote the immune system, beds, and big tents,” she added.
9 BJMP inmates infected with COVID-19
Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP) spokesperson Chief Inspector Xavier Solda confirmed Friday nine inmates tested positive of COVID-19.
BJMP, on April 9, said it put up an isolation facility in Quezon City after a prisoner died of suspected COVID-19 on March 25. Seventeen inmates were put in isolation after contact tracing.
On April 8, a group of prisoners considered vulnerable and at-risk to COVID-19 infection asked the Supreme Court for a temporary release amid the pandemic.
Twenty-three prisoners filed a petition by way of special civil action for certiorari on Wednesday. They asked the tribunal to direct their temporary release during “the duration of the state of public health emergency, national calamity, lockdown and community quarantine due to the threats of the COVID-19.”
The group also said the Supreme Court might also grant their release through bail.