21 Koronadal City inmates test positive for COVID-19, jail kept off-limits to visitors
KORONADAL CITY –– At least 21 detainees at the city police station here have tested positive for coronavirus disease (COVID-19), prompting the local police to suspend all visiting privileges to contain the spread of the virus, a police official said Wednesday.
Lt. Col. Joefel Siason, city police chief, said no visitor would be allowed in the jail for 21 days, as recommended by health authorities to contain the spread of the infection.
Siason said inmates who tested positive for COVID-19 had already been separated from the other prisoners and moved to another facility within the city police compound.
He admitted that the city police’s detention center designed to accommodate 15 to 20 inmates were already holding up to 65 inmates.
Siason said officers running the detention center were already swabbed for the reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT- PCR) tests but were still awaiting the results.
Due to lack of budget, the city police office did not subject new detainees to RT-PCR tests before they were mixed with the other prisoners in jail, so they wouldn’t know whether it was a new inmate, a visitor, or even the police officers assigned there who brought the infection.
Dr. Edito Vego, acting head of the City Health Office here, said they launched an extensive contact tracing to inform those who had close contacts with the inmates and to trace the origin of the infection.
Edited by LZB
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