COVID-19 cases at Cebu City jail now 207

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, April 25) — The coronavirus-hit jail in Cebu City recorded 63 new infections on Saturday, bringing the total number of COVID-19 cases there at 207.

Cebu City Mayor Edgar Labella in a statement announced this surge in coronavirus infections, without disclosing if the new cases are inmates or staff of the jail facility in Barangay Kalunasan which houses 6,000 inmates.

Earlier, Labella said the Health Department has collected at least 345 test samples from the city jail.

The city government on Thursday reported that 114 inmates and 13 jail staff tested positive, a number that rose to 144 on Friday.

A male inmate in Mandaue City, another province in Cebu, also contracted the coronavirus disease.

Other detention and prison facilities in the country have reported coronavirus outbreaks, including the Quezon City Jail and the Correctional Institution for Women in Mandaluyong City. An inmate at the New Bilibid Prison succumbed to the viral illness.

The Department of Justice has approved simpler rules and faster processing of requests for parole and executive clemency as authorities rush to decongest jails amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Earlier this month, 22 prisoners with underlying medical conditions filed a petition before the Supreme Court, seeking temporary freedom amid the threat of COVID-19.

Nationwide, the number of COVID-19 cases rose to 7,192 on Friday with 477 deaths and 762 recoveries. The Department of Health has said the data it releases are not real-time since they have to conduct validation before reporting.