'No need to panic,' says government as 198 test positive in correctional services

10 May 2020 - 09:45 By Nonkululeko Njilo

An additional 21 people have tested positive for Covid-19 in the department of correctional services across the country, taking the total number of confirmed cases to 198.

This is according to spokesperson for the department, Singabakho Nxumalo, who said the increase came from a facility in the Eastern Cape on Sunday.

“A big number emerged from Sada in the Eastern Cape, with the centre recording 10 cases, five inmates and five officials. Western Cape has also been registering new cases involving officials on a daily basis and a few in a sporadic fashion from East London,” he said.

Nxumalo said this is not a cause for concern as measures to contain any further spread had been put in place.

“The DCS wants to assure South Africans that it has already commenced with containment and treatment measures where cases have been registered. We have an effective Covid-19 disaster management response strategy which enables us to prevent the rapid spread of Covid-19, thus making it possible to contain the virus.”

The assurance comes as President Cyril Ramaphosa announced that around 19,000 ‘low-risk’ prisoners would be considered for parole in a bid to contain the spread of the virus in prison.

He said female prisoners with infants, elderly and sick would be the first to be considered.

Nxumalo said the department offered treatment to those in need and this had resulted in 91 recoveries to date.

“There is no need to panic as we remain committed to the task at hand, ensuring the wellbeing of both inmates and officials,” added Nxumalo.

Confirmed cases:

Eastern Cape — 115

Officials — 42

Inmates — 73

Recoveries — 59

Deaths — 2

Western Cape — 67

Officials — 64

Inmates — 3

Recoveries — 30

Deaths — 1

Limpopo — 2

Officials — 2 

Recoveries — 

Gauteng — 13

Officials — 4

Inmates — 9

Head Office

Officials — 1

Recoveries — 1


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