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9 coronavirus-stricken Quezon City Jail inmates show 'positive progress'

MANILA, Philippines – The 9 inmates at the Quezon City Jail who tested positive for the coronavirus are showing "positive progress," said the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP) on Sunday, April 19.

In a statement, the BJMP reported that the 9 inmates "continue to show positive progress [in] their physical health as of this morning during the health check of duty nurses."

"None of them [have] fever, cough, and colds, while the only patient with a premedical condition is already given his maintenance medicine for hypertension," the BJMP added.

BJMP Director Allan Iral said their doctors and nurses "are working round the clock to provide medical care to the PDL (persons deprived of liberty) patients for their immediate recovery."

The 9 jail personnel who also contracted COVID-19 are "receiving proper medical attention," he added. (READ: While government stalls, coronavirus breaks into PH jails)

Iral has since ordered intensive contact tracing at the Quezon City Jail. Meanwhile, the facility set up additional communication lines for the electronic dalaw or jail visit for the inmates' families.

The BJMP thanked the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) for helping to establish the 48-bed COVID-19 Isolation Center at the new Quezon City Jail in Payatas for detainees who are confirmed to have or suspected of having the virus. 

Boris Michel, ICRC head of delegation in the country, said they are doing their best "to support detention authorities to ensure that this facility, and 3 others that are underway...are functional as soon as possible, with necessary materials, equipment, and infection-control training for the staff."

The ICRC plans to set up isolation facilities at the new San Fernando District Jail in Pampanga (in Central Luzon) and Quezon District Jail in Pagbilao (in Calabarzon), both under the BJMP, as well as the New Bilibid Prison in Muntinlupa City under the Bureau of Corrections. – Rappler.com