MANILA – Over 90 percent of the total number of coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) cases among persons deprived of liberty (PDLs) in facilities supervised by the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP) have recovered from the disease.
“Nakapagtala na simula pa nung una ng 2,416 cases ang BJMP pero ang good news dito, 2,216 ang naka-recover at 115 na lamang ang mga natitirang kaso o active cases sa facility (The BJMP has recorded 2,416 cases since the beginning of the pandemic but the good news is that 2,216 have recovered and only 115 cases or active cases remain in the facility),” BJMP spokesperson, Chief Inspector Xavier Solda said in a radio interview on Friday.
He said that some of the PDLs who died from the disease had existing medical conditions.
“Currently, we have around 117,027 PDLs in 470 jail (BJMP-manned) jails nationwide,’’ Solda said.
To avoid the transmission of the virus, Solda noted that “contact visitation’’ on the PDLs remains prohibited in all city, district, and municipal jails controlled by the BJMP.
As a precautionary measure, he said that the BJMP’s health personnel are closely monitoring the physical conditions of the PDLs to determine if they exhibit Covid-19 symptoms and need to be tested for the virus.
Before their commitment to the BJMP jails, he said a check-list that includes the health status of the PDLs is strictly scrutinized to determine if they show any Covid-19 symptoms.
“Kapag ikaw ay kinakitaan ng sintomas, hindi ka isasama sa general population bagkus didiretso ka sa mga isolation facilities natin. Isa ito sa mga nakita natin na magandang pamamaraan para masiguro natin na masusugpo natin pagkalat ng virus sa loob (If one (PDL) show signs (of Covid-19), he will not be placed with the general population and instead will be directed to our main isolation facilities. This is one good way we saw that would ensure that the transmission of the virus inside (jails) is prevented),’’ Solda said.
Solda said that the tele-hearing in some of the bureau’s jail facilities allows the PDLs to attend hearings without leaving their jail cells which lessens the chances of the virus being transmitted.
“This is a technology supported mechanism na meron tayong nakikita platform na kung saan nakikita, nakakausap pa rin yung PDL sa loob ng facility natin at yung mga judges natin nakakapagtuloy pa rin sa pagko-conduct ng hearing (where there is a platform where the PDLs can be seen and talked to inside our facility and where the judges can still proceed with the hearing),’’ he added.
In the case of the BJMP personnel, Solda revealed that 1,301 Covid-19 cases were recorded since March 2020 but added 1,237 of them have recovered with 58 remaining active cases.
However, he said six of the BJMP personnel died due to Covid-19.
He said the spike of Covid-19 cases in BJMP facilities were prevalent in the Visayas, prompting them to constantly coordinate with the Department of Health to improve the situation. (PNA)