KORONADAL CITY – Health authorities have raised concern over the increasing cases of coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) among inmates of the South Cotabato Rehabilitation and Detention Center (SCRDC) or provincial jail here that already reached a total of 101.
Dr. Edito Vego, acting head of the City Health Office, said Wednesday the infections from the facility, which is situated in Barangay Gen. Paulino Santos, were among the causes of the spike in confirmed cases in the area in the past several days.
As of Tuesday night, he said the active cases in the city increased to 554, the second-highest among the 49 cities and municipalities in Region 12 (Soccsksargen).
The confirmed cases in the city since last year already reached a total of 2,127, with 42 related deaths and 1,531 recoveries.
Last week, the local government recorded 87 infections among the 1,520 inmates or persons deprived of liberty (PDL) committed at the SCRDC.
The jail management earlier said the infected PDLs, mostly asymptomatic and with mild symptoms, had been properly isolated in separate buildings.
Vego said they are continually monitoring the situation at the facility, which is run by the provincial government of South Cotabato.
“We’re currently waiting for the results of more swab (specimen) that we sent for RT-PCR (reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction) testing,” he said in an interview over radio station Bombo Radyo.
He said the city has 192 pending swab results as of Wednesday morning at the Cotabato Regional Medical Center laboratory.
These involved suspected and probable patients among PDLs and other residents from the city’s 27 barangays.
The official said the expanded swab collection and contact tracing is ongoing for all confirmed and suspected patients.
He said the ongoing modified enhanced community quarantine in five barangays and general community quarantine in 22 others have so far helped fast-track the tracing of Covid-19 cases in local communities.
The heightened community quarantine measures here, which included the observance of “no movement Sunday” and implementation of the odd-even scheme for tricycles, took effect last June 7 and will run until June 21. (PNA)