Coronavirus infections continue to climb in SA prisons

20 April 2020 - 20:36
By Naledi Shange
Coronavirus infections at prisons across the country have risen to 111.
Image: Thuli Dlamini Coronavirus infections at prisons across the country have risen to 111.

The department of correctional services on Monday reported 11 new coronavirus infections, bringing the total number of infections in the department to 111.

This number was for both prisoners and those working in prisons.

The Eastern Cape remains the hardest-hit province with a total of 87 infections: 56 prisoners and 31 officials. However, the department said this number had stagnated as they had recorded no new infections in recent days.

In the Western Cape, 20 officials and one prisoner have tested positive.

“All the new cases emanate from the Worcester correctional facility in the Western Cape,” said the department of the latest infections.

Limpopo has recorded two infections — both officials, not prisoners.

One infection has also been recorded at the department's head office in Pretoria.

No other provinces have recorded positive coronavirus infections at their facilities.

Correctional services spokesperson Singabakho Nxumalo said the department “remains committed to enforce measures to prevent the further spread of Covid-19 in all our centres”.

“We will continue drawing from the expertise of the department of health to provide necessary quality health care to those in need,” he said.

“The wellbeing of officials and inmates and their health remain our priority. We will continue working with all stakeholders to implement our Covid-19 disaster management response strategy.”