Correctional services to intensify mass testing after two officials test positive for Covid-19
Two correctional services officials in East London have tested positive for Covid-19, prompting mass testing.
This is according to correctional services department spokesperson Singabakho Nxumalo, who said staff and inmates were being screened.
A female official at the East London Correctional Centre, in Westbank, has tested positive for Covid-19, the department of correctional services said late on Monday.
On Thursday night — just moments before President Cyril Ramaphosa announced a two-week extension to the nationwide lockdown — Nxumalo said that a second official had tested positive.
As a result of the two cases, Nxumalo said 73 other officials had since been tested for the virus. Thirty-two of them have been asked to self-isolate at home after they came in contact with the first positive case.
“Inmates were also screened, and a total of 31 had already been tested by the end of business on April 8 2020. The screening and testing for officials and inmates is ongoing, and measures are in place to provide support to those who may test positive for Covid-19. Testing will also be conducted on those residing within DCS premises,” said Nxumalo.
He said the department would intensify prevention measures.
“Prevention measures will continue to be intensified, while a mass-screening schedule for all correctional centres shall assist the department in its efforts of averting the transmission of the virus.
“Correctional services would like to wish the two officials a speedy recovery, and we remain committed to the well-being of inmates and our officials,” added Nxumalo.