ON THE first day of July, there were only 17 Mandaue City police officers who contracted the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19).
Two weeks later, the number of police officers found positive for Covid-19 rose to 28, worrying Col. Jonathan Abella, director of the Mandaue City Police Office (MCPO).
However, the police official heaved a sigh of relief after three of the 28 personnel recovered from the respiratory illness recently.
Only two were brought to hospitals after exhibiting Covid-19 symptoms, which includes dry cough, fever and shortness of breath. The other 23 police officers remain in isolation.
Abella said the close contacts of these police officers have been swabbed, and he has yet to receive the results. He also limited the entry of police officers and visitors to the MCPO headquarters in Barangay Centro.
Aside from the MCPO, the Mandaue City Fire Station has been dealing with its Covid-19-positive personnel. Earlier this week,13 Mandaue City fire officers had been brought to an isolation facility after they tested positive for Covid-19 following the passing of their fellow fire officer, whose death was caused by Covid-19.
Uniformed personnel and members of medical teams are at risk of getting infected with Covid-19, as they are involved in monitoring villages with Covid-19 cases and transporting Covid-19 patients to hospitals or isolation centers.
Cebu City recoveries
In its Facebook page, the Cebu City Public Information Office (PIO) reported that 427 inmates recovered from Covid-19.
However, the data provided to SunStar Cebu by the Bureau of Jail
Management and Penology (BJMP) 7 show that only 352 inmates were found positive for Covid-19. Three inmates died because of the disease.
The first Covid-19 case from the Cebu City Jail was logged on April 19, 2020. The inmate died on the same day.
According to the PIO, more than 300 inmates were infected within two weeks after the first reported case. The last inmate who contracted Covid-19 was reported on June 12.
Despite the suspension of visiting privileges last March, Covid-19 infection still struck the jail facility.
Cebu City Health Department head Dr. Daisy Villa said a jail officer from Barangay Labangon could be the “patient zero,” bringing Covid-19 to the Cebu City Jail.
The infected inmates were isolated inside a new building in the compound. Cebu City Jail Warden Supt. Julius Arro said this immediate intervention was a big help in containing the spread of Sars-CoV-2, the virus that causes Covid-19.
The surge of Covid-19 cases at the Cebu City Jail prompted Mayor Edgardo Labella to require all persons deprived of liberty to undergo Covid-19 test before their admission in the BJMP-run facility and prior to their release.
Cebu City Jail currently has 6,582 inmates. It was designed to accommodate only 1,500 inmates.
In a virtual presser on July 17, Labella’s spokesperson City Attorney Rey Gealon said there were 708 recoveries recorded in Cebu City from July 13 to July 17.
Gealon failed to specify where the recovered patients came from.
Also on July 17, 52 Covid-19 patients isolated at Cebu City Quarantine Center (CCQC) after they exhibited mild to moderate symptoms were discharged. They tested negative of the coronavirus.
Ninety-two asymptomatic Covid-19 patients from Barangay Mambaling were also given a clean bill of health after staying in the Barangay Isolation Center for weeks.
At the CCQC, Labella led the city officials in sending off the recovered patients. He gave a speech, telling them how happy he was looking at them.
“We have to thank the good lord for his divine healing hands that healed you in this pandemic,” he said.
As of July 17, a total of 181 Cebu City residents were discharged from the CCQC, which is located at the North Reclamation Area.
CCQC administrator Yvonne Cania said there are still 50 patients isolated at CCQC.
Each of the 52 recovered Covid-19 patients received 25 kilos of rice from the Cebu City Government. (KFD, JJL & PAC)