2 inmates die as diarrhea hits Bilibid
MANILA, Philippines – Two inmates of the New Bilibid Prison (NBP) died after they were hit with diarrhea due to suspected food poisoning over the weekend.
As of Thursday, June 1, there are 1,212 diarrhea cases in Bilibid, according to an update by the Bureau of Corrections (BuCor).
The two casualties are 62-year-old inmate Virgilio Sabado who died of hypovolemic shock due to infectious diarrhea in the evening of May 30 and 67-year-old Sabas Lastimosa who died of diabetic coma early morning of May 31.
The Department of Health (DOH) has so far provided 1,009 IV fluids and 50,000 aquatabs to the prison cells.
BuCor Director General B.C. de los Santos said they have provided financial assistance to the families of the inmates who passed.
"We assure the public that the outbreak is under control and well attended at the NBP hospital," De los Santos said.
In an earlier interview, Health Secretary Paulyn Ubial said samples of the food the inmates ate over the weekend have been sent to the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM) for examination.
"Tinitingnan namin if it's inherently in the food or it was because of the handling kasi tiningnan din namin 'yung preparation area sa Bilibid and there are some measures we can implement to mitigate or stop this from happening in the future," Ubial said on May 30.
(We are looking if it's inherently the food or if it was because of the handling. We're also looking at the preparation area in Bilibid, there are some measures we can implement to mitigate or stop this from happening in the future.)
Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II personally inspected the inmates on Monday and brought with him bananas and rehydration drinks "to alleviate the conditions of the stricken inmates."
Aguirre refused to speculate whether the food poisoning was deliberate.
"If there are persons or parties responsible for this then they should be held accountable," Aguirre said. – with reports from Jee Geronimo/Rappler.com