Kenya releases 4800 prisoners to decongest prisons over coronavirus


Kenya releases 4800 prisoners to decongest prisons over coronavirus

The National Council on the Administration of Justice (NCAJ) after multi-agency consultations has resolved to release 4800 prisoners who are serving time for petty offences.

The decision was informed by the need to decongest Kenyan prisons in light of the coronavirus outbreak in the country.

In a statement sent out to the media, NCAJ however noted that new prisoners are being isolated for the requisite 14 days.

This is in strict adherence to the safety measures put in place by the National Emergency Response Committee on coronavirus as regards to social distancing.

Movement of prisoners has also been strictly restricted with NCAJ adding that all prison visits have been suspended.

The prison workforce has also been reduced to a bare minimum and visits to staff quarters also suspended to avert the spread of the COVID-19 disease.

The latest comes a day after Kenya confirmed an additional 22 cases of the new coronavirus, bringing the total number of infections to 81.

Health CS Mutahi Kagwe said on Wednesday that 21 out of the 22 cases were people currently in mandatory quarantine.

“We have tested over 300 Kenyans and out of those 22 have tested positive. This is the largest number we have received in a day,” he said.

According to the CS, the new cases are 18 Kenyans, two Pakistanis and two Cameroon nationals.

He further revealed that 13 of the cases are males and 9 are females: one of them is a patient admitted to Mombasa Hospital.

“That tells you importance of exercise we have been carrying out because they would have infected other people,” Kagwe said.

CS Kagwe urged Kenyans to adhere to the stringent measures imposed by government but clarified that food trucks are allowed to move as are vehicles ferrying food across the border.

“What we are stopping is meetings that are against social distancing,” he said.

The Government announced a 7pm to 5am curfew that took effect on March 27. It prohibits public gatherings and processions during the curfew.

Police IG Hilary Mutyambai said any person who violates the curfew commits an offence and will be arrested and charged in a court of law,

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Story By Tonny Ndungu
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