Virus outbreak grips Leyte detention facility

TACLOBAN CITY – While cases of the coronavirus disease in Eastern Visayas have continued to remain low since mid-February, a pocket outbreak occurred at a provincial jail which triggered much concern to among the residents living near the facility.

In its daily COVID-19 update, the Department of Health regional office reported on Wednesday 70 new cases of infection, 30 of them from Abuyog, Leyte.

Mayor Lemuel Gin Traya said the new infections were tallied at the Leyte Provincial Jail.

Traya said he wanted to know who these patients are especially that the facility is found right across the municipal building and the jail guards are going in and out and mingle with their respective families adding chances of infecting more people. He, however, claimed to be given the run around and is yet to receive the requested list.

He added that without the names of infected individuals, it will be difficult to monitor their movement and identify who they had close contacts with. Failure to do an immediate monitoring of movement may result to a community transmission which may be more difficult to manage, lamented Traya.

Jelyn Malibago, DOH regional information officer, said a team from the regional epidemiology and surveillance unit of the agency has already been sent to Abuyog to investigate the outbreak in the said facility.

She said all the findings of the investigation will be shared to the mayor as well.

Malibago likewise noted that since the facility is run by the provincial government and the swab samples were taken by the Abuyog District Hospital, which is also under the province, the names of those who were tested positive were sent to the Provincial Health Office.

Traya said the facility has over 400 inmates and more than 30 jail personnel.

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