DOH tells jail authorities: Vaccinate inmates, staff vs Covid-19

The Department of Health (DOH) urged jail officials in the country to ensure that inmates as well as jail employees are vaccinated against Covid-19.

DOH Officer-in-Charge Maria Rosario Vergeire made the statement following the reported spike in Covid-19 cases at the New Bilibid Prison in Muntinlupa, City.

“Ang pinaka epektibo talaga na ating masasabi  para maprevent natin ang pagkakasakit sa mga congregate settings natin, unang-una na diyan yung bakuna (The most effective way to prevent infection in congregate settings is the vaccine),” said Vergeire during a press briefing on Tuesday, May 9.

“Kailangan lahat po ng inmates natin ay bakunado, pati na rin  yung mga empleyado na nagtatrabaho  doon sa ating mga prisons (All our inmates must be vaccinated, as well as the employees who are working in prisons),” she added.

Vergeire also emphasized the importance of wearing face masks to prevent the further transmission of the disease.

“Kailangan magsusuot din tayo ng masks lalong-lalo na kung sakali ang impeksyon  ay sa iba't-ibang bahagi ng prison cells (Everyone should wear masks, especially if there is an infection in every prison cells),” she said.

“Kailangan magkaroon ng added protection ang ating mga inmates even our employees there (Our inmates and even the employees need to have added protection)---that we can be able to give them masks so that they can be prevented [from having] the infection,” she added.

Testing  is also an important tool in jail facilities in order to immediately isolate those who are found sick and be able to cut the transmission, said Vergeire.

Vergeire, meanwhile, assured that the DOH is already investigating the reported clustering of cases at NBP.

Recently, the NBP reported that 75 of its inmates were isolated after they were found positive for Covid-19.  Also, seven NBP personnel contracted the viral disease.