Due to the surge of COVID-19 inside the jail facility
TACLOBAN CITY – The mayor of Laoang town in Northern Samar had made a request to place under enhanced community quarantine(ECQ) the village where the subprovincial jail is located which has infected many of its jail guards and inmates.
In a communication addressed to Regional Director Lord Byron Torrecarion, who chairs the Regional Task Force on COVID-19, Mayor Harris Ongchuan want Barangay Doña Luisa be placed under ECQ as part of their zoning containment strategy against further spread of the coronavirus disease(COVID-19).
The Laoang subprovincial jail in Brgy. Doña Luisa, about 1.5 kms away from the town center, recorded 58 new COVID-19 cases based on the report of the Department of Health (DOH) here in the region.
Last Oct.9, seven inmates were confirmed to acquired COVID-19. Mayor Ongchuan immediately placed the entire facility under lockdown.
This means that as of Thursday (Oct.15), there are now 53 inmates and 15 jail guards who were tested positive of COVID-19 at the jail facility.
“While we are doing our best to contain the spread of the virus inside this detention facility, we are uncertain as to the extent of affectation specially that some of the Covid-infected are jail guards who in and out of the facility”, Mayor Ongchuan said on letter to Torrecarion on Wednesday (Oct.14).
“In this connection, we respectfully request for your approval to place Brgy. Doña Luisa where the Laoang subprovincial jail is located under ECQ as part of the zoning containment strategy,”he added.
Ongchuan also said that in just a week, COVID-19 cases in the municipality had increased to 67, the mayor said.
Ongchuan also said that a health worker and a government employee of their town were also infected of the dreaded virus. Both are confined at the Northern Samar Provincial Hospital in Catarman.
The infected inmates and jail guards are currently being managed and treated in a common facility inside the subprovincial jail.
Governor Edwin Ongchuan had provided assistance to the jail facility by giving additional food subsidy, vitamins and food supplements to all inmates and jail guards at the subprovincial jail, provincial information officer John Allen Berbon said.
“Last March, the facility allowed limited number of individuals who could visit the jail but when cases of COVID-19 in the region started to surge in June, the governor had advised to temporary suspend visitation rights,” he disclosed.
DOH Regional Director Minerva Molon said that they are looking at three possibility why COVID-19 infected the jail guards and the inmates.
Among the possible reasons were the arrival of new inmates, among jail guards and from those who visit the facility.
A team from their surveillance unit went to Laoang subprovincial jail last Thursday (Oct.15) to check and talk with the local government unit and jail officials on what assistance that they still need from the health agency to prevent the further spread of transmission. (ROEL T. AMAZONA)