9 Argao detainees get COVID-19

Iris Hazel M. Mascardo (The Freeman) - February 25, 2021 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines — At least nine persons under police custody (PUPC) at Argao Police Station in southern Cebu have tested positive for COVID-19 and are now being isolated.

Police Major Jeremie Shiella Gurtiza, chief of Argao Police Station, said the detainees underwent swab testing Feb. 18 and the results came two days after.

“Gi-isolate na jud ni sila. Naa ra gihapon sila sa detention facility namo kay according sa among RHU (Rural Health Unit) chief, contaminated na gyud siya daan kay before ana, close contact man gud sila tanan jud,” Gurtiza told reporters yesterday.

The detainees manifested symptoms like on and off fever. One of them, a female, was assessed to have loss of smell and taste.

A total of 18 individuals are currently detained at the police station. The nine who have tested positive for the virus have been moved to a separate cell.

Gurtiza said that even before the detainees were tested, they were already provided with vitamins.

Most of the detainees are still waiting for their commitment orders.

“Wala pa ni sila na commit pa sa CPDRC (Cebu Provincial Detention and Rehabilitation Center) kay atong commitment nila diri ra man sa BJMP Candabong. Unya wala pa man ni silay mga commitment order. Kasagaran ani nila na-arraign, ang uban i-inquest pa,” said Gurtiza.

Gurtiza said it is suspected that the virus may have been transmitted by a detainee who was brought inside Sunday. The detainee came from hospital treatment after being involved in a vehicular accident.

“Siya ra man gyuy last nga nisulod,” Gurtiza said.

A police officer who may have been exposed to the detainees is now awaiting results of his swab test.

Meanwhile, visitation privileges at the station have been suspended.

“Even before sa last week, wala nako nagpadalaw jud kay basin naay positive. Anha lang sa gyud sa gawas,i-drop off ang mga butang (dunol), mga needs nila (by their families),” said Gurtiza. — JMD (FREEMAN)

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