Jamaica: Two Inmates Tested Positive For COVID-19

Two inmates have tested positive for the Coronavirus COVID-19. This time at the Tower Street Adult Correctional Centre in East Kingston. The Ministry of National Security says the inmates have been isolated and contact tracing has begun to prevent an outbreak inside the facility. 

Minister without Portfolio in the Ministry of National Security, Matthew Samuda says the inmates have been isolated and contact tracing is now taking place. 

In August, five people at the Horizon Adult Remand Centre including one Correctional Officer tested positive for the virus. The Department Of Correctional Services has suspended all visits to the prisons in March to prevent an outbreak inside the facility.

But Minister Samuda says despite their best efforts, the virus may enter the walls of the penal system. And so, five months later, two of the island’s penal facilities have recorded COVID-19 cases in three weeks.

Health experts warn that prisons are one the worst places to have an outbreak. The facilities are overcrowded, unsanitary and unprepared to deal with any disease.  Inmates at the Horizon Remand Centre revealed that some wardens do not wear masks, only the kitchen staff. Additionally, the inmates say they do not have access to masks and hand sanitizers. Samuda says now, there is a strict containment strategy to isolate any inmate to prevent spread on the inside.