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Diarrhea cases at NBP probed

Investigators are looking into the possibility that the bangus served Thursday evening could have caused the suspected food poisoning at the New Bilibid Prison (NBP) in Muntinlupa.

Director General Benjamin delos Santos of the Bureau of Corrections said the “proximate cause (of the food poisoning) is food served by caterer Thursday evening.”

However, Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre, who visited the NBP Hospital inside the Maximum Security Compound Monday, withheld action against the private catering since “up to now, we have not pinpointed the true cause of the illness.”

The number of inmates who suffered from diarrhea has ballooned to 1,166 from 910.

The hospital has confined 151 inmates as of May 29 and discharged 13 on May 28. The hospital has a bed capacity of 500 with 11 doctors and 67 nurses and staff serving 24,586 NBP prisoners.

Health and sanitation personnel from the Department of Health and the Muntinlupa City government also inspected, examined and took samples of the food and water inside the Maximum Security Compound and stool from the affected prisoners.

“We are looking into the cause of these diarrheal cases. Hopefully, we can have the results of the tests done by the DoH to know what caused the illness,” said Aguirre who brought 2,000 bottles of Gatorade and 4,000 bunches (piling) of banana for the prisoners.

According to Delos Santos, each NBP inmate is allotted a daily food allowance of P60 or P20 per meal.
(Jonathan Hicap)