Over half of Barangay Bancao-Bancao’s 162 active cases are detainees inside the Palawan Provincial Jail (PPJ), and the populous community along the water edge of the city is also now the main hotspot of the ongoing surge of infections in the city.

As of Wednesday’s (May 19) official tracking bulletin, 99 detainees of the PPJ have been tagged as active cases, out of the 162 total active cases in the entire barangay itself.

They were first antigen reactive and later confirmed by RT-PCR, said Thursday morning by provincial jail warden Gabriel Lopez in a phone interview with Palawan News.

“Yong dating naging positive namin [sa] antigen, apat lang yong nag-negative doon. Hindi ba yong RT-PCR namin medyo na-delay? Kaya nga sabi namin kahit wala pang RT-PCR — kasi sabi nga mga 95% ng ina-antigen kapag positive ay positive na talaga? Kaya parang ganoon, nasa figure na yan (99),” Lopez said.

“Nadagdagan pa yong dati ng 17 pero antigen positive pa lang sila. Wala namang problema kasi nasa loob naman sila ng provincial jail, at patuloy na mino-monitor,” he added.

Lopez said the RT-PCR confirmed and the antigen reactive patients are being isolated in the visiting area in a separate building inside the jail compound. A jail nurse is monitoring them with the assistance of personnel from the Palawan Provincial Health Office (PHO).

Most of the infected patients, he explained, are asymptomatic with only a few showing symptoms of dry cough.

All 576 persons deprived of liberty (PDL) inside the PPJ had already undergone antigen testing, and only 17 were added from their previous cases.

Lopez said residents around their compound can be assured that they are safe because the detainees are not allowed to be visited by their relatives.

“Wala namang dapat ipag-alala ang nasa paligid kasi nasa jail compound sila. Hindi naman sila puwedeng dalawin dahil bawal pa ang visiting,” Lopez said.

As of May 19, the City Epidemiology Surveillance Unit (CESU) recorded 162 active COVID-19 cases in Barangay Bancao-Bancao.

Records indicate that the surge in Barangay Bancao-Bancao began at the height of the lockdown on five other barangays in the city (San Manuel, San Pedro, San Jose, Sta. Monica and San Miguel).

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