BuCor bares 1st COVID-19 case in Bilibid

April 23, 2020

THE Bureau of Corrections yesterday disclosed that a male inmate at the New Bilibid Prison in Muntinlupa City tested positive for the dreaded COVID-19.

The inmate, the first person deprived of liberty at the NBP diagnosed with the deadly disease, is now confined at the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM).

"The male PDL patient from NBP Medium Security Compound was checked at the NBP Hospital on April 17,2020 (Friday) and was referred to the RITM on the same day where he was admitted. Covid-19 test performed turned out positive. The patient is still confined at the RITM as of today. He is the first PDL from the NBP to be confirmed positive of the CoVid-19 virus," BuCor said in a statement.

NBP is one of the prison facilities controlled and supervised by the BuCor.

Also, the BuCor bared that at least 40 persons who made contact with the inmate are now are now quarantined as precautionary measure to avoid the spread of COVID-19.

"As a precautionary measure, contact tracing was started on the day (Friday, 17 April 2020) he was admitted at the RITM As a result, 40 PDLs were put in isolated areas on  (18 April 2020). Medical staff who attended to the PDL patient are also considered as suspects and are now under quarantine," BuCor said.

Just the other day, BuCor disclosed that 18 correctional inmates who tested positive for the deadly COVID-19 have been transferred to NBP's "Site HARRY," a walled compound with 12 meters high perimeter wall that is away from residential areas and from the prison cells

PDLs who tested positive for COVID-19 (asymptomatic or with mild symptoms but doesn't need hospitalization just yet), in BuCor-supervised prison facilities will be brought to Site HARRY, and to other quarantine areas to be determined by the Bureau, for isolation and treatment.

"Using closed vans, the transport of 18 PDLs were successfully undertaken under the supervision of Dr. Henry Fabro, Chief of NBP Hospital. They will be better taken cared of in this facility without endangering the prison camp or the NBP community."

"The vans were thoroughly disinfected afterwards and all personnel involved had also undergone disinfection procedures," BuCor said in a statement.

On Tuesday, BuCor disclosed that 18 more inmates at the Correctional Institution for Women in Mandaluyong City tested positive for the dreaded COVID-19.

This brought to 19 the total number of virus-infected inmates at the CIW, a prison facility under the supervision of BuCor.

But Muntinlupa Mayor Jaime Fresnedi expressed his disappointment over the transfer saying BuCor did not inform the local government when it transferred the prisoners to Muntinlupa on April 21.

“Coordination for the transfer of PDLs who are confirmed COVID-19 cases was not facilitated by BuCor to the local government. We were surprised to know about it from sources outside BuCor. We are all trying to contain the spread of COVID-19 in Muntinlupa and the transfer should not be done as it poses threat to the health of Muntinlupa residents,” he said in a statement.

Fresnedi added that the local government has no information as to how the PDLs were transferred and if BuCor has followed protocols on safe patient transport for COVID-19 as provided by the Department of Health.

Muntinlupa City Council is set to convene for a special session to file a protest opposing the transfer of confirmed COVID-19 PDLs from CIW.