From 900, the number of inmates at the New Bilibid Prison (NBP) affected by the diarrhoea outbreak has climbed to 1,212 and two of them succumbed, according to the Department of Health.
The casualties, both male, died due to dehydration, hypovolemic shock and diabetes type 2, according to Justice Undersecretary Erickson Balmes.
On Friday morning, more than 300 inmates complained of suffering from diarrhoea.
The outbreak started within NBP’s maximum and medium security compounds, and likewise affected those in minimum security compound.
The Department of Health (DOH) has provided 1,008 IV fluids and 50,000 water purification tablets.
The department will also conduct an investigation as to what caused the outbreak, and has yet to give a report.
“Our people have been deployed to provide medical treatment and assistance,” said Secretary of Health Paulyn Ubial during an ambush interview for an update. She added, “the rest [inmates] were outpatient. They were given oral rehydration solution, pain relievers, anti-emetic and anti-spasmodic.”
She noted that samples have been sent to the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM) for testing.
Authorities are looking at two possibilities, either the food ingested the night before was compromised or the water source.
The facility houses 22,000 inmates, and initial reports indicate no high-profile inmate has been affected.
Meanwhile, the catering company serving the NBP, Mang Kiko Catering Services Inc., said that they are not to blame for the diarrhoea outbreak.
“Speculation that the cause is food poisoning is very premature and baseless. It is not possible that the food served by Mang Kiko caused the diarrhoea outbreak,” said the company’s lawyer, Atty. Alvin Navarro, and added the possible cause of the outbreak is the water service.
Mang Kiko, he said, has been serving the NBP inmates for 11 years and not one incident of food poisoning occurred. MIMS
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