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Cebu City Jail records 123 new COVID-19 infections
This photo shows the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology facility in Cebu City.
The Freeman/John Lindsey Banaynal

Cebu City Jail records 123 new COVID-19 infections

Kristine Joy Patag (Philstar.com) - April 22, 2020 - 3:40pm

MANILA, Philippines — The number of COVID-19 infections in the Cebu City Jail rose to 123 on Wednesday.

The FREEMAN reported that the city confirmed 139 new COVID-19 infections on Wednesday, 123 of  which were recorded in Cebu City Jail.

The Cebu City Jail previously recorded at least four cases—two jail guards and two inmates—one of whom has already passed away.

Other infections in Cebu were recorded in the following areas: Nine in Labangon, three in Barrio Luz, one in C. Padilla, one in Kasambanga, one in Inayawan and one at the Cebu City Health Office.

The Bureau of Jail Management and Penology reported in September last year that the Cebu City jail is its most populated detention facility with 5,805 inmates.

The BJMP last week reported 18 COVID-19 cases in Quezon City Jail as the coronavirus infected nine inmates and nine jail personnel.

The Bureau of Corrections meanwhile recorded 20 cases in the Correctional Institution for Women in Mandaluyong City—19 inmates and a member of the health staff have contracted the disease.

Rights groups and lawyers are calling for the release of elderly and sick inmates—who are more vulnerable to the deadly disease—in overcrowded penal facilities as the country battles COVID-19.

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 [Persons Deprived of Liberty] 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.

The BJMP meanwhile said it backs calls to decongest jails, but stressed that the release of detainees should be done within legal bounds.

The Office of the Court Administrator reminded trial court judges to conduct an inventory of pending cases and release qualified detainees under a 2014 circular. – with reports from The FREEMAN/Alicia Chua

BUREAU OF THE INTERIOR AND LOCAL GOVERNMENT CEBU CITY NOVEL CORONAVIRUS
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