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SPOKESMAN: Avoid riots and the risk of Covid-19 in Prisons



Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Prisons spokesperson Frank Baine has warned Ugandans to avoid jumping from ‘the frying pan into the fire’.

According to Baine, if you break the social distancing rules and get charged with attempting to spread Covid-19, you will be remanded to prison where infection rates are rising sharply thus greatly increasing your chances of getting the Covid-19 due to the crowding in confinement. He said it is this danger that some people don’t seem to realise.

Baine has pleaded with Ugandans to be politically tolerant and avoid riotous situation because once arrested, one will be packed with strangers some of whom are infected with the coronavirus already and can pass it on to you.

According to the Prisons spokesperson, prisons have registered 898 cases of covid-19 of which 838 are prisoners, 50 are members of the staff and 10 are relatives to the staff.

Baine adds that although they have registered 875 recoveries and no deaths so far, twenty-three cases are active and and can transmit the coronavirus.

Baine has been moved by the alarming situation in the prisons where as if the rising cases of infected inmates was not bad enough, the congestion in there has been worsened by a large numbers of suspects being remanded after being arrested for participating in riots that were sparked off by the arrest of NUP presidential flagbearer Robert Kyagulanyi on November 18th.

There has been an increase in the number of inmates taken in due to the recent riots in the campaign period.

Overall, prisoners total up to 61,182 in number but Baine says that at least 600 of them have just been arrested particularly the November 18 -19  riots and this worries the prisons staff since it may lead to higher numbers in cases among prisoners together with everyone who comes in close contact with them.

It is because of the increasing number of inmates that the prisons services are adding Mbarara Women’s Hospital to their treatment centers, which previously comprised Moroto, Jinja, and Gulu.  Mbarara Women’s Hospital will be both an isolation and a treatment center for the increasing cases among inmates in the Prisons.

Baine therefore urged every single individual to be politically tolerant to avoid being taken in as numbers of infected detainees continue to rise, hence fears for the lives of Ugandans yet hospitals and health centers are strained.

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