Earlier this month, 22 prisoners who have underlying medical conditions filed a petition before the Supreme Court seeking temporary freedom amid the coronavirus disease outbreak. The group asked the court to consider recommending these individuals to President Rodrigo Duterte for early release. These include senior citizens, those with previous health issues, and first-time offenders charged or serving sentences for petty crimes. BJMP spokesman Jail Chief Inspector Xavier Solda said in a virtual press briefing on Friday that contact tracing has started to determine individuals who have direct contact with the confirmed cases. “We have nine PDLs and nine personnel who were tested positive for COVID-19,” Solda said. “We are doing an extensive contact tracing. We have a team assigned to it.” Last month, according to Solda, an inmate from the same prison facility has died of suspected COVID-19 but he clarified that the said inmate did not have a close contact with the nine positive cases. MANILA – Nine persons deprived of liberty (PDLs) at the Quezon City jail and nine Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP) personnel assigned in the same detention facility were tested positive for coronavirus disease (COVID-19). The High Court tackled the petition in a virtual en banc session on Friday and has asked the BJMP to comment within five days on the petition to temporarily release prisoners who have high risk of contracting COVID-19. A Bureau of Jail Management and Penology personnel checks inmates’ cubicles inside the Quezon City Jail. Nine inmates and nine personnel of the detention facility have since been isolated after they contracted coronavirus disease 2019. ABS-CBN NEWS Meanwhile, the infected BJMP personnel were advised to undergo home quarantine because they do not have severe symptoms, according to Solda. The Department of Justice, for their part, said that they are currently studying calls for the release of incarcerated “low-risk offenders” as they finalizing details for the uniform manual on Good Conduct Time Allowance./PN Solda added the COVID-19-infected inmates were among the 21 PDLs isolated in Payatas facility, which can accommodate around 150 individuals.
9 inmates, 9 staff at QC jail test positive for COVID-19