By Jonathan Hicap
Eight inmates from the Correctional Institution for Women (CIW) in Mandaluyong have recovered from coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).
The eight are part of a group of 47 CIW inmates brought to the New Bilibid Prison (NBP) quarantine area in Muntinlupa, known as “Site Harry,” last month for treatment.
Dr. Henry Fabro, chief of the Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) Health Service, said the eight were returned to CIW and will stay at the Recovery Isolation Area. They will undergo another Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) test before they will be allowed to return to CIW’s general inmate population.
One of the patients said they did not expect that they would test negative for the virus soon.
“Sobra pong saya kasi po hindi namin ini-expect na magne-negative kami kaagad kasi marami pong gumugulo sa isip namin. Pero laking pasalamat namin kay Lord, may isa pa kaming chance sa buhay namin (I feel so happy because I didn’t expect that I would test negative this fast because there are a lot of things on my mind. I give thanks to the Lord, we have another chance in life),” she said in a video recorded by BuCor.
She told other COVID-19 patients to be strong, “Sabi ko po sa kanila, lagi po nila lakasan yung loob nila, magpakatatag po sila. Sa mga iniwan rin po namin dito, sabi po namin, magdasal lang po talaga sa Diyos. Siya lang po talaga ang maasahan (I told them to strengthen their resolve to live. To those who we left here, we told them to just pray to God. He is the only one you can rely on).”
The eight inmates held papers with the messages “I have survived COVID-19” and “I beat COVID-19 today” as they made their way to a BuCor van that would take them back to CIW. BuCor medical personnel applauded them as they emerged from the isolation area.
BuCor said that with the isolation area at CIW now ready, other COVID-19 positive CIW inmates in NBP may be returned to the Mandaluyong women’s prison for their recovery. The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) earlier set up a 150-bed isolation center at CIW.