Number of Covid-19 cases in prisons is approaching 100 mark
The number of Covid-19 cases among prisoners and correctional services officials is fast approaching the 100 mark.
In a statement on Friday afternoon, correctional services spokesperson Singabakho Nxumalo confirmed that there were nine new cases of the respiratory illness confirmed — with all of the infections being department officials.
This meant that there were now 94 cases in total, 56 of them inmates.
However, in what was some good news, all of the 27 inmates at the St Alban's prison in the Eastern Cape — where officials have tested positive — were negative for Covid-19.
Detailing the nine new cases, Nxumalo said that one official was at the Kutama Sinthumule private facility in Limpopo, four at the Warmbokveld facility in the Western Cape, and that two additional cases were reported at both the East London and Worcester facilities, which had already seen positive cases.
The full breakdown was provided as:
— Eastern Cape: 29 officials, 56 inmates;
— Western Cape: 7 inmates;
— Limpopo: 1 official; and
— Head office, Pretoria: 1 official.
“East London remains the only correctional facility among the country’s 243 centres to have inmates testing positive for Covid-19. Screening of officials and those accessing DCS premises remains in force, as a measure to prevent possible transmission of the virus. Decontamination is also under way where positive cases have been reported.
“It remains critical for all our officials to be vigilant in their activities outside working hours, and they must adhere to preventive measures including social distancing,” said Nxumalo.