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Authorities Contain Spread of Coronavirus in Prisons

Naivasha GK prison has started implementing the raft of measures introduced by the government to protect inmates and prison warders in penal institutions around the country.
A spot-check by KNA at the prison, which is the largest penal institution in the country, revealed that all motorcycle operators had been banned from accessing the facility until the disease was totally contained.
The government has introduced a raft of measures to protect the more than 49,000 inmates hosted in the country’s prisons from Covid-19 infections.
The prison department through a notice from its headquarters, has directed the warders to work within the prisons and limit their movement within, while those living outside the facilities have been advised to keep away from the prisons.
The notice has also banned Motorcycle operators from accessing the facilities while family members of the warders working outside the penal institutions have also been directed not to move around the prisons.
This latest directive comes barely a fortnight after the State banned any prison visits amid concern over congestion in the country’s prisons.
According to directives from the Prison headquarters, medical staffs were ordered to visit all penal institutions and establish if total lockdown had been effected.
“In a bid to curb the spread of COvid-19 to our penal institutions, all prison medical staff are instructed to visit stations in their regions and conduct a daily monitoring and evaluation exercise,” reads part of the notice.
The notice further directed the officers to minimize their movement in and around their camps and contain their children within their houses.
“All officers residing outside the prison camps should stay at home and not report for duty until advised otherwise, while all boda boda operators should stop doing business with immediate effect,” adds the notice.
Prisons director of Operations Duncan Ogore downplayed the lockdown directives adding that the officers were free to leave their camps.
He however clarified that the department was keen to make sure that none of their officers was infected by the virus as this would lead to a major crisis within the prison.
“The new measures are meant to make sure that we contain the spread of virus and make sure that it does not find its way into our penal institutions,” he said.
Ogore further said that the inmates were vulnerable to Covid-19, adding that they were not taking chances as the fight against the pandemic gained momentum.
By Esther Mwangi/Vivian Otieno

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