The Bureau of Immigration (BI) said that 75 of its personnel assigned at the agency’s detention facility in Bicutan, Taguig City as well 84 foreign detainees have tested negative for COVID-19.
BI Medical Section Chief Dr. Marites Ambray reported that a total of 159 individuals underwent rapid antibody tests on Tuesday at the detention facility located inside Camp Bagong Diwa.
Ambray said that due to the limited number of test kits, only 84 of the more than 400 alien inmates were tested. Those considered at-risk of contracting the virus, such as senior citizens and those with underlying medical conditions, were prioritized.
BI Commissioner Jaime Morente welcomed the test results as a positive sign that protocols and measures instituted by the BI are helping prevent the spread of the virus among detainees and BI employees at the facility.
Earlier, Morente ordered the creation of a BI-Covid Task Force to ensure that all BI personnel and its wards get medical response during emergencies. An internal Covid hotline to attend to medical concerns and queries was also established.
BI Warden Facility Chief Remiecar Caguiron shared that a medical officer is always on duty to monitor the health of wards and employees at the facility which as been on lockdown since the outbreak of the pandemic.
Caguiron added that the facility underwent rigorous cleaning and continuous disinfection, while inmates were required to always sanitize themselves. Jail visitations are also temporarily prohibited.
Meanwhile, Caguiron reported that some wards have been deported following the BI’s effort to decongest the facility. “Our Legal Division has identified deportation cases that can already be expedited, as well as those who are eligible for bail. So far 7 have been deported, while two pregnant women were granted bail,” she stated.
Caguiron added that she expects more deportations in the next few weeks, as the decongestion of the facility remains a top priority for the Bureau.