KORONADAL CITY (PNA) – Local health authorities have expanded their contact tracing after 33 more inmates of the city’s police station’s detention center tested positive for the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19).   


Dr. Edito Vego, acting head of the City Health Office (CHO), said Saturday the additional infections were among the 42 new cases recorded in the city by the Department Health-Region 12 as of Friday evening.

The new patients included two police officers and seven other residents, including a family of four.

Vego said the Covid-19 cases among detainees of the city police station lockup have so far increased to 54 from the initial 21 detected early this week; 11 have turned out negative.

All the infected inmates–two of whom elderly and have possible co-morbidities–have been isolated and closely monitored by health workers.

“They remain in stable condition as of this time and have not manifested any major signs and symptoms,” Vego said in a radio interview.

The official said they are backtracking and tracing all individuals who have visited the facility since Dec. 27 last year.

He said it was possible that the spread of Covid-19 cases at the crowded city police station lockup actually started as early as December.

He urged residents who visited the facility since late last year to monitor their health status and immediately inform the barangay health emergency response teams if they manifest any suspected symptom.     

CHO personnel subjected some of the inmates to swab testing after finding suspected symptoms of the disease among them during a medical checkup last week.

At least 21 of them turned out positive of the disease, prompting the local government to subject all remaining inmates and several city police personnel to undergo swab testing.

Six CHO workers, including two doctors exposed to the infected inmates during the medical checkup, were also quarantined.

Vego said the detention facility will remain restricted for at least 21 days, adding the inmates have been provided the necessary care.

The city police station lockup currently has 65 inmates or three-folds more than its ideal capacity of 20.

As of Friday night, the confirmed Covid-19 cases in the city reached 662, with 16 related deaths, but 556 or about 84 percent of the patients have so far recovered.

Vego said most of the 90 active cases only have mild symptoms and are expected to recover, while some were asymptomatic.

He advised residents who have traveled outside of Region 12 (Soccsksargen), especially in areas with high cases of Covid-19, to undergo self-quarantine upon arrival.

“The protocol for everyone is still the same: wear face masks, face shields, practice regular hand sanitation and observe safe physical distancing. This is the only way to protect ourselves as we wait for the rollout of the vaccines,” he said.

Source: Manila Bulletin (https://mb.com.ph/2021/02/14/33-more-koronadal-inmates-test-positive-for-covid-19/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=33-more-koronadal-inmates-test-positive-for-covid-19)