28 Cagayan de Oro inmates test positive of COVID-19

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY (MindaNews / 7 Oct) – Twenty-eight inmates of the City Jail here at Barangay Lumbia have been infected with the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), a health official said.

Dr. Joselito Retuya, chief epidemiologist at the Cagayan de Oro City Health Office. Photo from the CDO Facebook page

Dr. Joselito Retuya, chief epidemiologist of the City Health Office, said the 28 inmates found positive were still in the holding area when they were tested using real-time reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (rRT -PCR) last Sunday.

“The positive cases have slim chance of infecting the rest of the inmates since they are separated,” he said.

Retuya said it is a standard procedure by the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology to conduct swab tests of all incoming inmates before they can enter the main facility of the City Jail.

He said that at the moment, the inmates are in the holding area located in a new three-story building, which has been turned into a COVID-19 treatment facility for persons who are deprived of liberty.

Retuya said two earlier batches of prisoners were also tested. But there were only one or two positive cases per batch.

“This is the first time that we found many inmates to be infected,” he said.

Retuya said the inmates may have been infected at the holding cells of police precincts where they waited for the courts to issue commitment orders against them.

Aside from the 28 inmates, the City Health Office recorded 17 local transmissions, or a total to 42 infected persons today. (Froilan Gallardo / MindaNews)