The Philippines released nearly 82,000 prisoners since mid-March to decongest the overcrowded jails in the country amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the country’s top judge revealed on Friday. 

Chief Justice Diosdado Peralta said in a virtual news conference that 81,888 inmates were released from March 17 to Oct. 16, daily Phil Star reported.

The country’s courts are holding virtual hearings to avoid spread of the coronavirus infection. Nearly 46,032 inmates were released through these video trials.

The Philippines has reported nearly 365,799 cases of the coronavirus since the outbreak. The archipelago country saw a slowdown in infections for the past four days.

It reported 1,923 new infections and 132 fatalities Friday, taking the death toll to 6,915.

Enforcing strict measures to stem the spread of the virus, the authorities jailed those breaking quarantine rules and not wearing masks.

The government records show there are at least 1,728 Filipinos in jail for quarantine violations.

“We will try to determine the reasons,” Peralta said. “So, I’m now telling the Court Administrator who’s present here that if the cases are filed there, bailable, and can be released on their own recognizance, they have to do something,” he said.

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