GENERAL SANTOS CITY – Detainees from police stations here are now required to have negative antigen test results for coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) before they can be transferred to the city jail.
Supt. Metz Milton Placencia, city jail warden, said Friday this is to prevent another outbreak of the disease coming from newly admitted inmates or persons deprived of liberty (PDLs).
He said they are working with the city police office, through the eight police stations, and other units to set safer arrangements for the transfer of the detainees.
The city jail temporarily suspended the acceptance of new PDLs after a female detainee from the city police station 4 in Barangay San Isidro came out positive of Covid-19 and infected 56 others.
The infected inmates were among the 76 accepted by the city jail on May 5 from various police stations.
“The outbreak has been contained and we have strengthened our protocols and precautionary measures to prevent it from happening again,” Placencia said in an interview.
Aside from the negative antigen test results, PDLs have to be quarantined in the police stations for 21 days before their transfer to the city jail.
A report from the city police office said the detention cells in some stations are overcrowded due to the transfer restriction in the last two months.
The Tambler police station, for instance, is hosting over 40 detainees, doubling from its cell capacity of 20.
Some police stations have put up temporary cells to ensure safe physical distancing among the detainees in the wake of the pandemic.
Placencia said they have started preparations for the inoculation of their PDLs once the vaccines are available.
He said the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology has set the protocols and security measures for the vaccination of the inmates, who are under the B9 priority group.
“Our PDLS are not neglected in terms of Covid-19 response,” the official said.
The city jail in Purok Lanton, Barangay Apopong has 1,210 male and 100 female inmates. (PNA)