9 inmates at QC Jail, 9 BJMP personnel test positive for COVID-19
Robie de Guzman • April 17, 2020 • 849
MANILA, Philippines – The Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP) on Friday confirmed that nine of its personnel and nine detainees at the Quezon City Jail have tested positive for novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
In a statement, the BJMP said the virus-infected inmates have been brought to a quarantine facility after manifesting coronavirus symptoms.
They were among the 41 inmates said to have been exposed to an inmate in Quezon City Jail who recently died of suspected COVID-19.
A contact tracing is now being conducted for those who may have been exposed to the virus-infected prisoners, the BJMP said.
Detainees at Quezon City Jail who are experiencing cough, colds, fever, and have pre-existing medical conditions were also isolated.
BJMP spokesperson Jail Inspector Xavier Solda also confirmed that nine of their personnel have contracted the contagious respiratory disease.
He, however, said the employees are not exhibiting severe coronavirus symptoms and are currently undergoing home quarantine.
Meanwhile, the Supreme Court on Friday asked the BJMP to respond to a petition seeking temporary freedom on humanitarian grounds amid the COVID-19 outbreak.
The plea was filed in early April by a group of 22 prisoners who are old and have underlying medical conditions and currently detained in various jail facilities in Metro Manila.
The high court directed the BJMP to comment on the petition within five days. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Lea Ylagan)
Parties for all offices under the Quezon City government during the holidays will no longer be held this year amid the continuing novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, Quezon City Mayor Joy Belmonte said Tuesday.
A statement released on Tuesday said Belmonte has issued a memorandum directing all offices under the city hall to cancel parties scheduled in December and instead ordered them to donate the funds to underprivileged groups.
“The money that would have been spent on office Christmas parties would do more good as donations to the underprivileged during this extraordinarily difficult time in our nation’s history,” Belmonte said in a statement.
The local chief executive stressed that “it would be inappropriate for offices of the city government to hold customary Christmas parties while many of its citizens are experiencing hardships due to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.”
Instead of holding parties, she urged city hall employees to adopt an underprivileged sector— such as the urban poor, displaced workers, jeepney drivers, street vendors, indigent children, and poor senior citizens— and to modestly celebrate the season in their homes.
MANILA, Philippines – The province of Batanes on Tuesday said it has recorded its first case of novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) since the pandemic started early this year.
According to Batanes Governor Marilou Cayco, the province reported its first COVID-19 case after a 29-year old resident who returned on Sept. 22 tested positive for the virus.
He has a travel history in Santa Rosa, Laguna. He returned to the province on board a Philippine Air Force plane with 18 others.
Cayco said the patient is asymptomatic and currently under isolation and monitoring of the provincial COVID-19 task force.
She added that all 18 individuals who had close contact with the patient have been subjected to swab test and are now strictly being monitored.
Batanes is currently under a modified general community quarantine (MGCQ) but the local government will recommend to place the province under a two-week GCQ to curb the spread of coronavirus disease.
Cayco said outpost checkpoints will also be set up in all municipalities to monitor and limit the movement of people.
Airport operations and commercial flights to and from the province will also be suspended.
“Medivac lang ang pwedeng pumunta dito in some emergency cases. Pero yung commercial flights pina-stop muna namin,” she said.
The local government reminds residents to follow health protocols such as the wearing of face masks and face shields and observe physical distancing. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Dan Gersalia)
The Department of Health (DOH) will allow private companies to implement lockdown in their offices or health care facilities to prevent coronavirus disease (COVID-19) exposure.
DOH Spokesperson Usec. Maria Rosario Vergeire said aside from the minimum health protocols, private companies should also consider the mental health of their employees if they will implement a lockdown.
“For example may mga ibang ospital (For example, there are hospitals) that would rather have their employees stay with them, they have their dormitory. Wala munang uuwi dito muna kasi kapag umuwi kayo sa community you go back at nadadala niyo ang mga impeksyon dito (No one will go home yet because, once you go home to your community and you come back, you might bring the infection here),“ she said.
According to the Health Department, the duration of the lockdown will depend on the agreement between the company and its employees. She also reminded employees that they can also decline being put into lockdown.
“Hindi naman dapat pumayag din ang isang employee kung iyan ay labag sa kaniya. Mayroon naman silang ganoong karapatan kailangan lang po na naipapaliwang ng maayos (Employees don’t need to agree if they don’t want to. They have the right to do so. Things must be explained properly),” Vergeire added.
The health official also reminded private companies to make sure that their employees understand the reason behind the lockdown, taking into account the difficulty of being away from their families especially during the pandemic.
Vergeire also said employees should also be able to talk to experts with regards to their mental health.
“It is okay not to be okay especially at this time during our situation in the pandemic. Okay lang po iyan lahat tayo nakakaramdam ng ganiyan (That’s okay, we all feel that). We just have to have that coping mechanism,” she said. AAC (with reports from Aiko Miguel)
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