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NBP, CIW visiting privileges suspended as 48 PDLs test positive for COVID-19

Visiting hours were suspended at the New Bilibid Prison (NBP) in Muntinlupa and the Correctional Institute for Women (CIW) in Mandaluyong City as a precautionary measure to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

That's after a person deprived of liberty (PDL) tested positive for the viral disease after two years of not having COVID-19 cases inside the NBP, according to Ian Cruz's "24 Oras" report on Wednesday.

“Yung nag-positive kasi is 63-year-old male inmate. Doon siya nag-i-stay sa "Kanlungan ni Lolo" kasama niya yung old PDLs kaya immediately protocol naman yun iko-contact tracing mo talaga yung mga kasama niya,” Dr. Ma. Cecilia Villanueva, acting director of Bureau of Corrections Health and Welfare Services, said.

(A 63-year-old male inmate tested positive. He was staying at "Kanlungan ni Lolo" along with elder PDLs, so the immediate protocol is to conduct contact tracing with those who are with him.)

A statement from the Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) on Thursday said visiting hours were likewise suspended in Correctional Institute for Women in Mandaluyong City

Of the first 407 PDLs tested on May 2, at least 32 from building 13F1 tested positive in the antigen test with 19 of them experiencing symptoms of the virus.

The following day, 16 out of 174 PDLs also tested positive for COVID-19, bringing the total number of cases to 48.

Jail guards, meanwhile, are now required to wear face masks.

BuCor said they expect visiting hours to resume after more than two weeks.

“Balik na naman tayo sa protocol na kailangan mayroon silang vaccination card tapos kung may symptomatic ira-rapid antigen na lang para kung mag positive sila hindi na natin allow makapasok sa loob,” Villanueva said.

(Let's go back to the previous protocol that they need to have a vaccination card, then if there is a symptomatic person, they will be given rapid antigen and if they test positive, we will not allow them to enter.)

Aside from COVID-19, BuCor is also dealing with other health issues after some PDLs were confined because of extreme heat. The BuCor health service also said that the temporary hospital at NBP almost reached its full capacity.

PDLs have been advised to drink water to stay hydrated.

“Increase fluid intake hindi ko kasi masabi yung social physical distancing hindi kasi feasible sa dami nila. Pag may nararamdaman immediate na mag consult sa hospital,” Villanueva said.

(Increase fluid intake, I can't say maintain a physical distance because it's not feasible with so many of them. If you feel something, consult the hospital immediately.) —Richa Noriega and Joahna Lei Casilao/ VAL/KBK, GMA Integrated News

Tags: NBP, COVID-19, news, bucor