The Tagbilaran City Jail (TCJ) has started to quarantine newly committed detainees to ensure that the facility remains free of the coronavirus disease (COVID) 19 as the new coronavirus started to plague detention centers across the country which are mostly cramped, making these conducive places for the virus to spread.
According to JO2 Gina Sumampong of the TCJ, 16 new detainees are being quarantined for 15 days at the jail’s new wing to ensure that they are not infected before they are detained along with the facility’s other persons deprived of liberty (PDL).
There are still no new recorded COVID 19 cases in the province but Sumampong said that they are implementing the quarantine as precautionary measure against the highly contagious disease.
“Wa ta kahibaw kung kadtong naa pa sila sa gawas natakdan na simbako og COVID mao na atong gi-quarantine daan,” Sumampong said.
The jail’s new two-story wing was supposed to be opened in the second quarter of this year to help decongest the overcrowded facility but it has for the meantime been designated as an isolation center.
Data from the TCJ indicated that it currently has 332 detainees including 26 women.
According to Sumampong, the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology has also increased its vitamin allocation for PDLs in a bid to keep them healthy.
Detainees who have activities outside of the jail such as court hearings are also required to observe social distancing and wear facemasks, she added.
However, the detainees would not be able to practice social distancing within the TCJ considering limited spaces within the facility’s 13 jail cells.
Each jail cell has about “20 to 30” detainees.
“Sa sud, dili g’yud maka [social distancing] kay mura na man sila og sardines,” she said.
COVID 19 infection has recently emerge as among the government’s top concerns in the fight against the disease as the country’s detention facilities have long been known for being overpopulated to the point of being described as having “inhumane” conditions.
Such jails have also long been deemed as breeding grounds for infectious disease. (A. Doydora)