1,700 inmates have tested positive for COVID-19 so far- MoH


1,700 inmates have tested positive for COVID-19 so far- MoH
A meeting between the Standing Commitee on Health and the Ministry of Interior and Coordination of National Government and the Kenya Prisons Service on Friday. Photo: Courtesy

A total of 1,700 inmates have tested positive for the new coronavirus since it was first reported in the country, Health Services Director Dr. Kisivuli has said.

Dr. Kisivuli spoke during a meeting between the Standing Committee on Health and the Ministry of Interior and Coordination of the National Government and the Kenya Prisons Service on Friday.

Three prisoners have also succumbed to the disease so far.

Kenya Prison Service Commissioner Wycliffe Ogalo blamed the surge in cases on challenges of achieving social distancing within the prisons.

He noted that keeping a 1-meter distance in Kenyan prison has proved impossible, and thanked inmates and officers for doing their best under current conditions.

Interior CAS Hussein Dado noted that Kenyan prisons which have been designed to hold up to 30,000 inmates had 55,000 inmates when the pandemic was first reported.

The Judiciary intervened and released petty offenders, with the occupancy dropping to around 46,000 inmates.

He said the government has taken measures to isolate and manage prisoners infected with COVID-19 at the Nairobi remand prison.

To further avert the spread of infections, a multi-disciplinary COVID-19 Response Committee that will be reporting to the Commissioner-General of Prisons has been constituted.

The Nairobi Medium Prison will also be converted into a quarantine centre and uniformed Prison Healthcare workers together with NMS-seconded workers deployed.

All newly admitted prisoners will also be required to undergo a 14-day quarantine.

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