200 inmates, warders quarantined as prisons confirms first Covid-19 case

A police officer stands guard outside Kaita Prison in Namutumba District on Wednesday. The facility is under quarantine after an inmate tested positive for Covid-19 on Monday. PHOTO | RONALD SEEBE

At least 199 inmates and 24 Prisons officers are currently under quarantine at Kaiti prison in Namutumba District for 14 days after a former inmate tested positive for Covid-19.

Mr Frank Baine, the Uganda Prisons Service spokesperson, yesterday said the confirmed case was arrested for defying the presidential directive in Mayuge District and had so far spent four days in prison.

“After handing him over to the Ministry of Health, we have gone ahead to quarantine the whole prison, with prisoners and staff there for 14 days. Today (Wednesday), we are expecting officials from the Ministry of Health to come and carry out random sample collecting,” Mr Baine said.

The confirmed case was to be released on Monday.

“Right now he is in Jinja, he is no longer prisoner because he was discharged that very day on Monday…,” Mr Baine said.

Mr Baine said they were alerted after one of the contacts of the confirmed case tested positive for Covid-19.

“One of his contacts had presented with symptoms before he tested positive for Covid-19 so we were alerted,” Mr Baine said.

Mr Baine said the former inmate had been in isolation since his arrest, although he said the prison has to be put under quarantine to establish how safe the environment is as they also wait for the Ministry of Health to carry out random sampling.

“New comers have limited interaction with the rest of the inmates. We identified several isolation centres where we put them,” Mr Baine added.

As of yesterday, Uganda had registered 665 cases of Covid-19, with 119 recoveries and zero death.