GENERAL SANTOS CITY – The city police has tightened the health screening process for new and incoming detainees in its precincts after six inmates tested positive this week for the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19).
Lt. Omar Baret, deputy chief of Bula police station here, said Friday they are currently working with health authorities and concerned agencies for the testing of arrested suspects for the disease before their detention.
He said the move was based on a directive issued by Col. Gilberto Tuzon, the acting city police director.
“This is to protect our personnel and the detainees in our lockup facilities from Covid-19,” he told reporters.
He said the city police is currently coordinating with the City Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging and Re-emerging Infectious Diseases for the setting of proper screening protocol for the incoming detainees.
Among the pending recommendations was to subject the arrested suspects to rapid antigen screening as part of the process.
Early this week, he confirmed that two new detainees in their station who are facing direct assault charges have tested positive for the disease.
Baret said it turned out during the contact tracing that four more inmates were exposed to the two initial cases and came out positive for Covid-19.
He said two of them were already transferred to the barangay isolation unit while the four others are under containment at their precinct.
The four suspects are facing illegal drug-related charges that are considered non-bailable, he said.
The police official said they will need a court order to transfer the detainees to an isolation facility since they were already formally charged.
He said the police personnel who have had contact with the infected inmates are currently undergoing quarantine and will be subjected to rapid antigen testing. (PNA)