Uganda Prisons Ban Routine Visits by Public to Inmates over COVID-19

Uganda Prisons Service has banned the routine visits to inmates by members of the public in a bid to prevent the spread of the Coronavirus Disease in its detention centres around the country.

On Monday 14th/06/2021, the Prisons spokesperson, Frank Baine said that the Commissioner General of Prisons, Dr. Johnson Byabashaija has issued a circular to all commanders to ensure no person is allowed to visit inmates.

“All visitations to prisons are suspended regardless of vaccination status or testing status. Those who want to visit should hold on for 42 days” Baine said.

In the past those who have already been vaccinated for Coronavirus were being allowed to access prison and inmates whereas those not vaccinated were required to present negative COVID-19 test results.

However, according to the Prisons spokesperson, this has been reversed to ensure not one is allowed inside the prisons.

Baine said that whereas new prisoners are admitted to the various detention centres around the country, these will first be taken to their isolation centres for 14 days.

“New prisoners will be taken for quarantine at any of our 59 isolation centres around the country for 14 days and after completion of this time, they will be subjected to a mandatory testing before being admitted after testing negative” Baine said.

He said that prisons staff has also been stopped from visiting the nearby communities to avoid contracting the virus or spreading it to the communities.

According to Baine, prisons currently have only 47 active Coronavirus cases with 40 of these at their treatment centre in Gulu.

He however boasted that they have managed to keep the virus at bay in prisons, a feat he attributed to strict guidelines.

Reports by the ministry of Health indicates that cases of COVID-19 in the second wave have increased and at least 61,977 have tested positive for COVID-19 while 423 have succumbed to the pandemic.

This has led to fear and panic within the population with some adopting untested herbal concoctions to try to beat Covid-19.

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