9 inmates in Quezon City jail, 9 BJMP personnel contract COVID-19

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, April 17) — Nine detainees and nine prison employees at the Quezon City jail have tested positive for coronavirus disease, the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology said Friday.

BJMP spokesperson Xavier Solda said in a briefing that the infected inmates were brought to a quarantine facility in Payatas.

On March 25, the BJMP said an inmate in Quezon City jail died of suspected COVID-19. The nine detainees who tested positive for the contagious respiratory disease have no known exposure to the suspected case.

Solda said a team is tracing those who may have been exposed to the infected prisoners.

Meanwhile, some employees afflicted with the virus were told to go through self-quarantine at home as they did not exhibit severe symptoms.

"But nandun parin yung common symptoms na may sore throat, meron paring may ubo sa kanila so they were advised na mag-home quarantine muna," Solda said.

[Translation: The common symptoms are there so they were advised to go on home quarantine for the meantime.]

He added their conditions are "improving."

In early April, 22 prisoners who have underlying medical conditions filed a petition before the Supreme Court seeking temporary freedom amid the coronavirus disease outbreak.

The high court on Friday asked the BJMP to comment within five days on the prisoners' petition, sources said.

The Philippines now has 5,660 confirmed cases of the viral disease, with 435 recoveries and 362 deaths.