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Inmate may have died of COVID-19; jail isolation facility created —BJMP

The Bureau of Jail Management and Penology on Thursday said a detainee from the Quezon City Jail could have died due to coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

In a press statement, BJMP spokesman Jail Chief Inspector Xavier Solda said the BJMP had learned that the prisoner died of acute myocardial infarction and hypertension.

However, it was stated in the death certificate that possible COVID-19 infection could have contributed to his death, Solda added.

"Taking the attending physician’s point of view, citing possible COVID-19 as contributing condition is a piece of information that we cannot take lightly," Solda said.

Through the help of the International Committee of the Red Cross and the Philippine Red Cross, an isolation center for inmates in Quezon City has been completed, according to Solda.

"Our position is always at the side of caution; that is why we triple our efforts in establishing an isolation center outside the jail facility," he added.

Following the incident, the BJMP immediately conducted contact tracing to determine who had direct contact with the inmate. Solda said a total of 17 inmates were initially isolated.

Meanwhile, BJMP chief Jail Director Allan Iral has ordered the continuous strict implementation of precautionary measures in jails such as physical distancing, wearing of face mask among personnel and inmates, use of foot bath, thermal scanning, and disinfection of facilities particularly the isolation areas.

Iral also said the mental health of jail personnel and inmates must also be regularly checked. —Anna Felicia Bajo/LBG, GMA News