The main gate of the General Santos City Jail in Purok Lanton, Barangay Apopong (PNA GenSan file photo)

GENERAL SANTOS CITY – Nearly half of the 1,230 persons deprived of liberty (PDLs) or inmates of the city jail here have already been vaccinated against the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19).

Jail Superintendent Metz Milton Placencia, city jail warden, said Monday the acceptance rate among the PDLs for the vaccines has been high and most of them have signed up voluntarily to get inoculated against the deadly disease.

He said some 605 inmates or 49 percent of the jail population have so far received at least the first of the vaccine.

A total of 279 PDLs have been fully vaccinated, while 326 others are currently waiting for their second doses, he said.

The official said the vaccinated inmates are under priority group A2 or senior citizens, and A3 or persons with comorbidities.

With the start early this month of the vaccination for the “rest of the adult population” in Region 12 (Soccsksargen), Placencia said they are hoping that the remaining 625 inmates would be vaccinated in the coming weeks.

“This will complement with the government’s efforts to achieve (population protection) early against Covid-19,” he said.

Placencia said all of their eligible personnel, including those assigned in the female dormitory, are now fully vaccinated.

The city jail is managed by the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology.

He said they have sustained the strict implementation of health protocols and other necessary measures to prevent another outbreak of the disease.

Some 56 PDLs of the city jail, which is situated in Purok Lanton of Barangay Apopong, contracted Covid-19 last May but were mostly asymptomatic and have fully recovered.

Placencia said they had required police stations to subject incoming PDLs to a two-week mandatory quarantine and require them to have negative Covid-19 antigen testing results.

The city jail has restricted visitation privileges for inmates and maintained the electronic visitation or “e-dalaw” system as well as the virtual court hearing for those undergoing trial. (PNA)