Nearly 100 new prisoners test positive for Covid-19 in East London prison

11 May 2020 - 19:40 By TimesLIVE
There are now 321 confirmed cases of Covid-19 among Eastern Cape correctional services officials and prisoners.
There are now 321 confirmed cases of Covid-19 among Eastern Cape correctional services officials and prisoners.
Image: THULI DLAMINI

Nearly 100 inmates have tested positive for Covid-19 in the East London prison - more than doubling the number of infected prisoners in the Eastern Cape.

There are now 321 confirmed cases in correctional services, among both officials and prisoners.

In a statement on Monday evening, correctional services spokesperson Singabakho Nxumalo confirmed that the number of inmates infected in the Eastern Cape had climbed from 75 to 173 - with the 98 new Covid-19 infections occurring in the East London facility.

"The department of correctional services has noted a resurgence of positive cases in East London, wherein 98 sentenced inmates tested positive for Covid-19," he said.

There are also 50 officials infected in the province.

Nxumalo said there were also three new cases of inmates being infected in the Western Cape, as well as six officials in the province.

In Kimberley, in the Northern Cape, one official had tested positive.

"In order to avail immediate expertise in the management of infections, prevention and control measures, the department has appointed a medical advisory panel and additional 393 nursing personnel," he said.

"This measure is also aimed at strengthening the capacity of the department in dealing with Covid-19, particularly in the Eastern Cape and Western Cape."

The provincial breakdown of cases was provided as:

  • Eastern Cape - 223 cases (50 officials, 173 inmates);
  • Western Cape - 81 (73 officials, eight inmates);
  • Limpopo - 2 (two officials);
  • Gauteng - 13 (four officials, nine inmates);
  • Northern Cape - 1 (one official); and
  • head office - 1 (one official).

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