1 dead, 17 catch virus in Cebu provincial jail | Inquirer News

1 dead, 17 catch virus in Cebu provincial jail

CONTACT TRACING Officials of Cebu Provincial Detention and Rehabilitation Center have started tracing the close contacts of prisoners and jail personnel who tested positive for COVID-19. —DALE ISRAEL

CEBU CITY—An inmate died while 17 others tested positive for the new coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in a prison in Cebu province that has become popular for its “dancing inmates.”

An investigation ordered by officials showed that an administrative staff member of Cebu Provincial Detention and Rehabilitation Center (CPDRC) in this city could have been the source of infection.


Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia said the employee had defied her order for all prison personnel to stay inside the facility in order to minimize contact with other people amid the health crisis arising from the coronavirus outbreak.

Reports reaching Garcia said the staff member, who was later found positive for COVID-19, continued to go home to his family in the city’s Barangay Sambag.


Defying orders

“Apparently, my orders were not strictly followed,” said Garcia in a press conference on Wednesday.

She said “aggressive contact tracing” was being done at the provincial government-administered provincial jail in Barangay Kalunasan here. The facility holds 1,600 prisoners.

Garcia said the infected inmates—14 males and three females—had been kept in isolation following health protocols set to deal with coronavirus cases, even before their test results for COVID-19 were released.They earlier exhibited “influenza-like illness,” she said.

CPDRC became popular after videos of its inmates performing well-choreographed dance routines went viral in 2006.

City jail

A neighboring detention center, Cebu City Jail, has recorded 212 confirmed COVID-19 cases among jail personnel and inmates.

A prison officer of Lapu-Lapu City Jail also contracted the virus on Wednesday. On April 24, Mandaue City Jail had one inmate who tested positive for COVID-19.

The Department of Health in Central Visayas said that as of Thursday, Cebu had 631 cases of the disease—555 in Cebu City, 25 in the province, 17 in Mandaue City and 34 in Lapu-Lapu City. INQ

For more news about the novel coronavirus click here.
What you need to know about Coronavirus.
For more information on COVID-19, call the DOH Hotline: (02) 86517800 local 1149/1150.

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TAGS: Cebu Provincial Detention and Rehabilitation Center, Cebu provincial jail, COVID-19, Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia, lockdown
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