Mayor Edgardo Labella on Monday issued an order requiring all inmates of the Cebu City Jail to undergo mandatory swab testing before admission or release at the facility.
Labella signed executive order (EO) 71 laying down measures in placing all detention prisoners under enforced specimen collection to determine the extent of coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) infections in the jail facility.
The decision to conduct jail-wide swab testing came after the Cebu City Health Department (CCHD) recorded a total of 210 inmates and jail officials infected with the virus.
The Regional Trial Court, Municipal Trial Court, Bureau of Jail Management and Penology as well as the Cebu City government have unanimously agreed to support the new executive order, Labella said.
“It was unanimously agreed that proactive and stricter measures must be implemented in Cebu City Jail to prevent the further spread of the Covid-19 in the jail facility,” he said.
Medical personnel of CCHD will conduct the swab collection while the scheduling will be agreed along with the Cebu City Police Office (CCPO) which will be tasked to provide security during the testing.
The EO said inmates found positive of Covid-19 will be brought to a designated isolation room adjacent to the jail facility.
Inmates, who are due for release, will also undergo the same procedure. Labella said they will not be released if they will be found positive of coronavirus.
He said the inmates found positive of Covid-19 will be placed in a Barangay Isolation Center where he or she is residing while inmates residing outside Cebu province will be brought to Cebu City Quarantine Center in North Reclamation Area for isolation and treatment.
Inmates who will suffer serious and severe symptoms will get proper medical attention, he said. (PNA)
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