By Patrick Botha – Mana.
Nkhata Bay Prison is under siege as 13 test positive to Coronavirus (Covid-19).
According to spokesperson for Nkhata Bay District Hospital, Christopher Singini, 10 inmates and 3 prison warders have tested positive to Covid-19.
“Yes out of the 14 new cases registered today in Nkhata Bay, 13 are from Nkhata Bay Prison,” said Singini.
Prison authorities at the facility have made frequent requests to government to decongest the facility but no action has been taken.
In an earlier interview, spokesperson for Nkhata Bay Prison, MacDonald Migolo, said the facility had submitted a list of names to the presidential pardon committee but up to now nothing had been done.
“We did submit 116 names to the Presidential Committee on Pardon, three of which were elderly, thus above the age of 60 but up to now nothing has been effected and the situation is cause for worry especially with the rising numbers of Covid-19 cases in the country,” Migolo pointed out.
According to Migolo the facility has tried to comply with Covid-19 measures such as hand washing, wearing of masks among staff as well as inmates though sanitizers were in short supply.
“You’ll see all our staff in masks and even inmates have been provided with masks when going for labour or court hearing. This is our first time to register a case, unfortunately instead of one case we have gone straight to 13,” he said.
Migolo also pointed out that the development has caused panic not only among inmates but also staff themselves.
“We really hope government is going to act promptly in decongesting our facility otherwise the situation is very worrisome,” he appealed.
In a related development, Commissioner for Prison Services has asked prisons to limit the number of people visiting an inmate as a way of limiting social contact.
The figure brings the number of Covid-19 cases for Nkhata Bay to 110 and 1 death out of 352 conducted tests.