THE warden of the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP) 7 facility in the southern town of Argao, Cebu was killed by the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19).
This was confirmed by Jail Senior Insp. Jay Ylanan, the BJMP’s Health Service Division chief.
Ylanan said Jail Senior Insp. Francisco Pujol Jr. didn’t disclose his medical condition to fellow jail officials before he died on July 2, 2020.
Pujol had himself swabbed, but the result, which turned out positive, didn’t come out until after his death.
Ylanan advised other jail officers to report if they manifest flu symptoms or are not feeling well so they can be monitored.
He said the BJMP 7 will immediately execute the protocol and preventive measures to contain the spread of the virus.
Pujol was the first jail official to die from Covid-19 in Central Visayas, according to BJMP 7 records.
In isolation are jail personnel in Argao and those assigned in Talisay City after seven officers there tested positive for Covid-19 two weeks ago.
Ylanan told SunStar Cebu that their officers might have been infected by inmates who initially tested positive during the rapid testing and eventually also tested positive after they were swabbed.
Ylanan said they also conducted contact tracing when the seven jail officers assigned in Talisay City tested positive for the virus.
He said two of them had not been feeling well in the past few days, but all seven are recovering and are no longer showing any symptoms.
Not allowed to go home
Thirty more jail personnel in Talisay City were swabbed Wednesday afternoon, July 8.
Jail Senior Insp. Crisyrel Awe, Talisay City Jail warden, said the 30 personnel will have to wait for their results before they’re allowed to go home.
They’re currently housed in the jail facility and continue to perform their duties, he said. Although none of them has displayed any symptoms, their health conditions are being monitored, he said.
Awe said the Talisay City Health Department told them the results should be out in three days.
Meanwhile, Ylanan said they’ve been disinfecting jail facilities every day. Inmates and jail personnel have also been ordered to always wear face masks, constantly wash their hands and observe social distance as much as possible.
Although they have not contained the virus 100 percent, Ylanan said the Covid-19 situation of the BJMP 7 is under control.
A total of 640 BJMP 7 inmates tested positive for Covid-19 with 558 recoveries and 82 active cases, while 55 jail officers also tested positive with 31 recoveries and 24 remaining active cases.
Ylanan said the four inmates who succumbed to the disease had preexisting medical conditions.
He said the active cases were recorded in the BJMP 7 facilities in the cities of Cebu, Mandaue, Lapu-Lapu, Talisay and Consolacion town.
Testing CIDG 7 members
On Thursday morning, July 9, 35 personnel of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) 7, including strikers and utility, were swabbed at the Police Regional Office 7 headquarters in Cebu City.
Maj. Ronald Allan Tolosa, CIDG 7 deputy, said the activity started at 8 a.m. and didn’t end until noon.
He said they just wanted to make sure the 35 personnel were not infected with the Sars-CoV-2, the virus that causes Covid-19, after eight CIDG 7 members tested positive for the disease the other week.
He said the status of their office will depend on the results of Thursday’s swab tests.
He said their personnel are in isolation in their respective houses and only report to the office if they have something important to do.
Tolosa also clarified that their office is open, but strict health protocol is implemented.
Tolosa said he was part of the first batch who got swabbed, but his result came out negative.
He said the eight who are Covid-19 positive are on medication.
He said they are waiting for the Regional Health Services to schedule the swabs of the 15 persons under the CIDG 7’s custody.
Also on Thursday, Medellin Mayor Joven Mondigo announced that he does not have Covid-19 after he underwent the reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) test.
He and his staff had themselves tested after one municipal employee tested positive for Covid-19.
The mayor ordered the temporary suspension of operations at the Municipal Hall while the entire building and its surroundings were disinfected.
3 new cases
“I am grateful to God that I have been given the chance to continue to serve the people of Medellin,” Mondigo said in Cebuano.
Despite his good fortune, Mondigo said the town recorded three new Covid-19 cases.
One of them is a frontliner from Purok Sunflower in Barangay Lamintak who works in another town. The patient last came home on July 4.
Next on the list is a 45-year-old woman from Barangay Don Virgilio Gonzales. She is the wife of the town’s sixth Covid-19 patient.
The third patient is a 46-year-old man from Sitio Boongon, Barangay Maharuhay. He tested positive after meeting the town’s fifth Covid-19 patient.
Mondigo said all three patients are in isolation, while they’ve begun their contact tracing.
The northern town of Medellin has nine Covid-19 cases.
The mayor appealed to residents to cooperate and to strictly follow the health protocol to avoid infection.
“Let’s pray twice as much that the disease will not spread in our town,” Mondigo said in Cebuano. (KFD, GPL, BBT, ANV / PJB)