2 dead in Bilibid diarrhea outbreak

MANILA — Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II on Thursday announced that two inmates died due to a diarrhea outbreak at the New Bilibid Prison (NBP).

Aguirre identified the fatalities as Virgilio Sabado, 62, with type 2 diabetes who died around 10:30 p.m. Tuesday due to infectious diarrhea and hypovolemic shock; and Sabas Lastimoso, 67, who died around 1:15 a.m. Wednesday due to diabetic coma.

Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) Director Benjamin Delos Santos said that they already informed and provided assistance to the families of the victims.

So far, the number of inmates affected by the diarrhea outbreak in the national penitentiary which started last May 26 has climbed up to 1,212.

The Justice Secretary said they have already provided 1,008 IV fluids and 50,000 Aquatabs to the NBP courtesy of the Department of Health (DOH).

Possible cause of the food poisoning was either the food or drinking water which was given to inmates on Thursday.

“The caterer already denied that it was the milkfish and pointed at the possible contaminated drinking water but we are still looking into it,” Aguirre said.

“We wish to re-assure the public, particularly the families of the inmates who are down with diarrhea that we are addressing the problem. The health and the welfare of our inmates, under the present circumstances, are paramount,” Aguirre noted.

He said that persons or parties responsible for this must be held accountable.

Delos Santos have expressed gratitude to Justice Secretary Aguirre, DOH Secretary Paulyn Ubial and Muntinlupa Mayor Jaime Fresnedi of their support and donations of medical supplies, bottled water and food which are more than enough to meet the needs of the patients.

The BuCor Chief said that regular medical situation updates shall be release as soon as these are made available.

”We assure the public that the outbreak is under control and well attended at the NBP hospital. We also appeal to media to refrain from undue speculations pending officials results of investigation,” Delos Santos said in a statement.

Earlier, he 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. Christopher Lloyd Caliwan/PNA-northboundasia.com