19 inmates, 1 staff in women's prison infected with COVID-19
This undated photo shows the conduct of Oplan Galugad in the Correctional Institution of Women. The Bureau of Corrections on Tuesday reported 19 new COVID-19 cases in the facility, with 18 inmates and one personnel contracting the virus.
The STAR/Boy Santos, file

19 inmates, 1 staff in women's prison infected with COVID-19

Kristine Joy Patag (Philstar.com) - April 21, 2020 - 1:03pm

MANILA, Philippines — The number of COVID-19 cases in the Correctional Institution for Women (CIW) has risen to 20, with new infections recorded in 18 inmates and one Bureau of Corrections personnel.

In a statement Tuesday, BuCor said the Philippine Red Cross conducted 51 PCR tests following the confirmation of its first COVID-19 case in a 72-year-old detainee at the CIW.

42 Persons Deprived of Liberty (PDLs) and nine BuCor staff were traced to have had contact with the confirmed case and were subjected to COVID-19 test.

“19 Covid-19 positive out of 51 persons tested,” BuCor said.

“Those tested positive were reported to have mild symptoms and some are asymptomatic. They are now being monitored and given vitamins, medicines and food supplements to strengthen their immune system,” it added.

BuCor said they are conducting contact tracing to identify those who came in close contact with the COVID-19 patients and to place them in isolation.

“Quarantine areas were previously identified and now being used. Further testing on all persons who are suspect and probable,” it added.

The bureau also said it is beefing up medical personnel at the CIW and enhancing partnership with public hospitals for the admission of patients who need hospital care.

But BuCor admitted that the “CIW needs more vitamins for PDLs, food supplements that promote the immune system, beds and big tents.”

Decongestion of jails

Calls for the release of vulnerable PDLs in our overcrowded jails and penal facilities in the time of COVID-19 pandemic continue to mount.

Data on BuCor website, posted in 2017, meanwhile showed that the CIW has capacity for 2,453 detainees. 2018 data from the Commission on Audit shows that there were 3,175 PDLs in the facility in Mandaluyong.

President Rodrigo Duterte in his latest report to the Congress said the Board of Pardons and Parole, under the Department of Justice, is crafting interim guidelines for “the expeditious release of PDLs who are already of old age, sickly or are suffering from terminal illnesses or with serious disabilities.”

The board is also asked to look into those who are eligible for parole or executive clemency, in order to decongest penal facilities.

Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra earlier explained that PDLs in BuCor facilities are those serving final judgment and may be released through Good Conduct and Time Allowance, parole or executive clemency—functions under the executive branch.

The Office of the Court Administrator, meanwhile, on Monday reminded lower court judges of a 2014 Supreme Court directive to release from detention accused who may have served minimum penalty for offenses charged or whose case may be provisionally dismissed due to delayed proceedings brought about by absence of essential witness.

The Bureau of Jail Management and Penology last week said there are nine inmates of the Quezon City jail and nine of its personnel who contracted the virus.

The FREEMAN, meanwhile, reported that two inmates at the Cebu City jail and one jail guard tested positive for COVID-19.

The SC has also ordered the government to answer the petition for temporary release filed by a group of 22 inmates.

As It Happens
LATEST UPDATE: March 27, 2021 - 8:09pm

Photo shows members of the Philippine National Police deployed in Manila amid COVID-19 threat. The STAR/Edd Gumban

President Rodrigo Duterte on March 16, 2020 declares an enhanced community quarantine over all of mainland Luzon, an expansion of an earlier general community quarantine over the National Capital Region.

The entire National Capital Region—16 cities and a municipality—is under community quarantine from March 15 to April 14, which means the enforcement of social distancing measures like letting fewer people on public transportation, reduced store hours, and the possibiity of curfews.

According to a memorandum issued by the Palace on Saturday, March 14, the quarantine means that "movement of people shall be limited to accessing basic necessities and work; and uniformed personnel and quarantine officers shall be present at border points."

Travel restrictions in and out of the capital will also be implemented.

March 27, 2021 - 8:09pm

A labor group says another lockdown will never resolve rising COVID-19 cases in the Philippines after the government announced that Metro Manila, Cavite, Laguna, Bulacan and Rizal are placed under the enhanced community quarantine starting Monday.

“The Duterte government seems to be deliberate in focusing its efforts in imposing quarantine and lockdown measures instead of addressing the rising cases of COVID-19 and the worsening state of the pandemic through medical solutions and scientific approach,” says Defend Jobs Philippines.



March 27, 2021 - 7:06pm

Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque says the implementation of enhanced community quarantine is meant to slow down the increase of COVID-19 cases, so hospitals and health workers will not be overwhelmed.

March 27, 2021 - 6:37pm

Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque announces that Metro Manila, Cavite, Laguna, Bulacan and Rizal are placed under enhanced community quarantine starting Monday, March 29.

January 19, 2021 - 6:04pm

Tuguegarao City will be placed under enhanced community quarantine from January 20 to 29 due to the rising number of COVID-19 cases in the city.

Cagayan Gov. Manuel Mamba approved the request of Tuguegarao Mayor Jefferson Soriano to place the city under ECQ for 10 days.

According to the Cagayan Provincial Information Office, the city currently has 246 active cases.


Posted by Cagayan Provincial Information Office on Tuesday, 19 January 2021
April 29, 2020 - 7:51pm

Batangas, one of the provinces hardest hit by the novel coronavirus, has reported no new cases of the disease for two consecutive days.

The provincial DOH Office says the number of COVID-19 cases in the province stood at 91 with no new cases as of Wednesday afternoon.

Lipa City has the most cases with 26, followed by Batangas City (21) and Nasugbu (11).

Tanauan City has the fourth most cases with eight, followed by Bauan (5) and Alitagtag (3). Cuenca and Sto. Tomas City had two cases each, while the municipalities of Calaca, Lemery, Lian, Lobo, Mabini, Mataas na Kahoy, Padre Garcia, San Jose, San Juan, San Pascual and Taal had one case each, respectively. — The Filipino Connection

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