Six inmates at the Iwahig Corrections Facility (ICF) hospital were found antigen reactive in a sample test conducted by penal prison medical staff on July 13 after receiving 1,000 test kits from its central office.
ICF information CTO II Levi Evangelista said Monday that the six PDLs (persons deprived of liberty) in the Central Sub-Colony are all asymptomatic and are now isolated. The antigen kits which were requested by the ICF arrived on July 12 will be used to test PDLs of ICF in its four sub-colonies in Iwahig (Central), Sta. Lucia, Montible, and Inagawan.
“Hindi siya program ng local IMT natin. It is our program for the health and welfare of our PDLs. Since may dumating kami, first-time kasi na may dumating na antigen kits, nag-test tayo ng PDLs natin na confined sa hospital. Asymptomatic sila, wala naman sila nararamdaman,” Evangelista explained.
“Mga patient na rin kasi ‘yan, maaari ang pag-ubo nila o sipon due to recent occasional na pag-ulan dito sa atin. Tiningnan lang din nila, we are not 100 percent sure na they are COVID related. Pag-test natin ay reactive sa test kits,” he added.
Evangelista said the situation of the PDLs is already coordinated with the Incident Management Team (IMT) of Puerto Princesa.
The ICF observes the condition of PDLs and they are subject to another test after seven to 10 days, he added. Evangelista also stated that nine medical staff at the hospital assisting PDLs were non-reactive.
“Since may kit tayo, tinest lang. Hindi natin masasabi na it is really COVID related and our medical staff, as precautionary measure ng opisina, nakahanda. After noong may maging reactive na six PDLs ay immediately ay nilagay natin sila sa isolation center. Naka-separate ‘yan sa karamihan although nasa hospital na sila pero hiniwalay natin,” he said.
With the limited number of test kits given to the ICF, Evangelista said it will only be used if PDLs are showing COVID-19 related symptoms. The ICF has 2, 760 PDLs committed within its four sub-colonies.
The prison management stressed that its hospital is capable and prepared to ensure the welfare of the PDLs.
ICF is expecting another batch of test kits to arrive, but it will still depend on the availability from its national headquarters.