Cebu imposes strict measures in provincial jail
MANILA, Philippines – Cebu provincial Governor Gwendolyn Garcia announced that strict measures are now being implemented in the Cebu Provincial Detention and Rehabilitation Center (CPDRC) following reports that the coronavirus disease have already infected detainees in other prison facilities.
On Saturday, April 25, Garcia said that swab tests are now being conducted at the CPDRC, home to the famous dancing inmates. There are no positive COVID-19 cases in the provincial jail yet.
The swabbing came after news that over 209 cases of COVID-19 have been recorded in the Cebu City Jail, formerly known as the Bagong Buhay Rehabilitation Center (BBRC), the prison run by Cebu City.
"So far, in the CPDRC, or the Cebu Provincial Jail, which is right across the street where the BBRC is located, thank God we have no such positive case. But, we are instituting very, very strict measures," Garcia said.
To avoid the possible introduction of the virus in the facility, guards who live in barangays (villages) in Cebu City with COVID-19 cases have been asked to temporarily not report for work.
The rest of the security personnel have been assigned a lodging facility at the CPDRC.
Prior to these measures, Garcia said that the CPDRC has already imposed a moratorium on the acceptance of inmates.
When Garcia assumed office after the May midterm elections, the prison had about 2,525 inmates, more than a thousand more than the facility’s 1,600 capacity.
"We did not accept new inmates anymore. We practically put the CPDRC on lockdown," she said.
Visitations of family members have also been temporarily cancelled because of the virus. (READ: Where are the coronavirus cases in the Visayas?)
The governor added that "rigid disinfection" and "close monitoring of inmates" are also being conducted to ensure that the jail remains free from the coronavirus.
On Sunday, April 26, the Department of Health (DOH) said that there are 7,579 coronavirus cases in the country, as the death toll tops 500. Patients who recovered from COVID-19 also increase to 862. – Rappler.com