The Zimbabwe Prisons and Correctional Service (ZPCS) is scaling up measures to contain the coronavirus after four inmates and one prison officer at Bulawayo Prison tested positive for the deadly pandemic.
ZPCS has reportedly embarked on a mass testing exercise for everyone at the prison and disinfecting the complex while visitors for inmates have been banned with immediate effect countrywide.
ZPCS’s health services director Dr Evidence Gaka said it was not yet clear how the quintet at Bulawayo Prison contracted the virus. Gaka added:
There are five confirmed cases of Covid-19 at Bulawayo Prison involving four inmates and a prison officer. As contained in our ZPCS operational plan, the officers who are infected self-isolate at their homes and in the invent that it is not practical for them to self-isolate, we have other measures that we put in place.
Earlier this year, President Emmerson Mnangagwa pardoned thousands of prisoners in a bid to decongest prisons.
The development comes when the country’s coronavirus cases have in the recent past been rising at an unprecedented pace.
Zimbabwe as of 10 July 2020 had 942 confirmed cases including 320 recoveries, 609 active cases and 13 deaths since the onset of the outbreak on 20 March 2020.