DAPECOL employee tests positive of Covid-19

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 07 August) – Health authorities in Davao Region are now tracing who had come in close contact with an employee from Davao Penal Colony (DAPECOL) of the Bureau of Corrections (BuCOR) who recently tested positive of Covid-19.

The employee, whose positive test result came out on July 29, had a travel history to New Bilibid Prison in Muntinlupa City.

The Davao Region. Map courtesy of Google

During a virtual press conference on Friday, Dr. Rachel Joy Pasion, data management officer of Department of Health (DOH)-Davao, said the officer had traveled by land from Muntinlupa to Davao del Norte from July 18 to 20, and immediately went into a mandatory home quarantine.

Pasion said DAPECOL requires all its employees with travel history outside Davao Region to get tested for Covid-19 infection as one of its precautionary measures.

Authorities were also tracing some of the DAPECOL employees and inmates, who possibly came in close contact with the patient, she said.

She explained that not all persons whom the patient had encountered or interacted with for short periods of time would be considered close contacts.

She said the contact-tracing team is currently verifying information on his close contacts who would be tested and immediately placed in isolation.

She added they are also investigating if there are other individuals whom he might have interacted with prior to his isolation.

“Since this is a new case, there is an ongoing monitoring and contact-tracing of the close contacts of this employee. As to whether DAPECOL is under lockdown, there are reports that they are really under lockdown. However, we need to verify it with their doctors,” she said.

As of Friday, she said DOH-Davao had not yet received a report of additional positive cases in DAPECOL.

“As of now, we have not yet received of any report on any outbreaks, or right now no additional cases were recorded from DAPECOL,” she said.

According to the BuCOR website, DAPECOL sits on a 30,000-hectare property, covering portions of Panabo City and Tagum City, with vast tracts planted to export Cavendish bananas. (Antonio L. Colina IV/MindaNews)