Bilibid inmate is positive of COVID-19
MANILA, Philippines — An inmate from the New Bilibid Prison (NBP) has tested positive of COVID-19.
In a statement, the NBP said the inmate was detained at its Medium Security Compound, but has since checked in at the NBP hospital on April 17, 2020.
He was subsequently referred to the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM) the same day where he was admitted.
After he was admitted, immediate contact tracing was conducted resulting in the isolation of 40 other inmates or persons deprived of liberty (PDLs), while medical staff who attended to the PDL patient are also isolated and currently under quarantine.
Justice Undersecretary Markk Perete said the Department of Health has already committed 10,000 test kits for PDLs.
“The first batch of mass testing will be conducted at the Correctional Institution for Women (CIW) and the NBP, where the cases for COVID-19 infection were registered,” Perete said.
As of January this year, the New Bilibid Prison, with a capacity of 6,435, has a total of 29, 173 PDLs while CIW in Mandaluyong City, with a capacity of 1,008, now houses 3,422 PDLs.
Perete said they have also increased the number of doctors and nurses in the penal farms and colonies and placed 300 beds at the quarantine facility inside Bilibid.
He said they are likewise in the process of coordinating with the Department of Public Works and Highways to build them a bigger quarantine area, “just in case there is a need for it.”
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