The Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP) said nine inmates at the Quezon City jail tested positive for the new coronavirus.
This is according to a tweet posted by The Philippine Star.
BJMP confirms 9 persons deprived of liberty (PDLs) and 9 personnel from Quezon City Jail test positive for COVID-19.
— The Philippine Star (@PhilippineStar) April 17, 2020
Prior to this, the BJMP said that 15 detainees were isolated after coming in contact with an inmated who died of suspected COVID-19 in March 25.
Earlier today, families of political prisoners led by Kapatid filed a petition before the Supreme Court seeking to grant temporary liberty on humanitarian grounds to prisoners belonging to vulnerable or at-risk groups.
— Karapatan (@karapatan) April 8, 2020
Jails are deemed as a ticking time bomb when it comes to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Raymund Narag, an associate professor at Southern Illinois University and an expert in Philippine jails, is calling for the release of nonviolent, low-risk, and bailable pretrial detainees as well as vulnerable, elderly, and sickly convicts.
“The Philippines has the most crowded correctional system in the world,” he said. “It is only a matter of time before infections creep into the very congested jail and prison facilities.”
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