Ilocos Norte jail on lockdown after 90 inmates contract COVID-19

LAOAG CITY – The Ilocos Norte Provincial Jail (INPJ) was declared a critical zone, and was placed under lockdown after 90 persons deprived of liberty (PDLs) and five guards tested positive for the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), the provincial government reported Sunday night.

Dr. Norman Rabago, the provincial health consultant for COVID-19 in Ilocos Norte, said the infected persons, who were all asymptomatic, were already taken to isolation units while there are assigned nurses who check on them regularly.

Rabago said a total of 160 INPJ PDLs were swabbed after five jail guards earlier tested positive for the disease.

Of the 160, 90 were confirmed positive on Sunday evening.

"Once an area is declared under critical zone, no one is allowed to go in and out,” Rabago said.

He assured that the Provincial Health Task Force will continue to determine ways to contain the virus.

“We ask for your continued support, understanding, and cooperation,” he ended.

Meanwhile, boxes of vitamins, fruits, and groceries were delivered at the gate of the INPJ from concerned individuals on Sunday.

"You guys uplift our spirit through this pandemic that we are facing right now. Thank you and may God bless you more," the INPJ said in a Facebook post.