MANILA— Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II on Monday ordered the Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) to closely monitor the condition of inmates hospitalized at the New Bilibid Prison (NBP) hospital due to diarrhea and to ensure that the situation is under control.
Around 900 NBP inmates were affected by a diarrhea outbreak that started last Friday.
” The health of the inmates is a paramount consideration. As of this morning, there are still 600 diarrheal cases and 59 of them still in the hospital. DOH will conduct test as to the cause of the outbreak today,” Aguirre said.
Aguirre is set to visit Monday afternoon the NBP.
He said there is a possibility that food poisoning downed the inmates.
“Investigation is already being conducted to know what really happened and what is the cause— was it the food or water? Why and how,” Aguirre said.
BuCor Director Benjamin Delos Santos said of the inmates affected, about 600 were brought to the NBP hospital for treatment.
He said the situation in under control except for one elderly inmate from the minimum compound who is reportedly in critical condition at the NBP hospital.
“He is an elderly inmate from the minimum security compound and has been ill before,” he noted.
De Los Santos said they are not ruling out the possibility that the inmates were deliberately poisoned.
“But proximate cause is food served Thursday night. We shall be conducting food and water testing at main kitchen,” De Los Santos said in a text message.
Delos Santos said NBP authorities are coordinating with the leaders of each brigade of inmates to ensure cleanliness and prevent the spread of diarrhea.
The NBP have more than 22,000 inmates detained at the maximum, medium and minimum security compounds.