Despite rise of infections, BJMP claims jail facilities remain COVID-19 free
MANILA, Philippines — Facilities of the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP) remain free from COVID-19 as of Monday, despite the reported increase in infections across the country after the holiday season.
According to a latest statement from BJMP, none of its personnel and the persons deprived of liberty (PDLs) under their care have tested positive for the disease since December 8, 2021.
Still, BJMP chief Jail Director Allan Iral urged all jail personnel in the 476 district, city, and municipal jails nationwide to remain alert and maintain the strict implementation of health protocols to ensure the health and wellness of BJMP employees and the PDLs.
“Whether the numbers goes up or down, we are firm with our position not to compromise the safety and security of our jails,” Iral said in the statement.
“It is our duty to ensure that all PDL are protected from the virus,” he added.
As of Monday, the country’s active COVID-19 infections continued to increase, now at 24,992 after the Department of Health (DOH) reported 4,084 new infections.
Last Saturday, January 1, DOH said that there is a high possibility of local transmissions of the Omicron variant — which is said to be more transmissible than the already infectious Delta variant.
Still, the department maintained that the country is now more ready to face the Omicron variant after gaining experience from previous surges.
BJMP assured that even with the implementation of the no-contact visitation program, where PDLs’ relatives get to visit inmates physically but without physical interaction, the implementation of health and safety protocols in jails are still being thoroughly monitored.
As a precautionary measure, only visitors from areas under Alert Level 1 and 2 are allowed to make no-contact visitations.
Aside from these, BJMP promised to ramp up the vaccinations of PDLs across the country.
“The BJMP is continuously exerting efforts to ensure that all PDL under its care will be vaccinated. As of January 1, 2022 a total of 122,092 PDL or 97.63% out of the 125,061 jail population already received COVID-19 jabs,” BJMP said.
“Of the 122,092 PDL who were vaccinated, 20, 013 already received their first dose, 94, 888 completed their second dose, and 7,191 were inoculated with a single dose vaccine. Meanwhile, 762 PDL had already received their booster shot against COVID-19,” it added.
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