Saturday 24 October, 2020

Tower Street prisoners 'shaken up' after COVID cases confirmed

A prisoner at the Tower Street Adult Correctional Centre in Kingston says now that the authorities have confirmed that there are COVID-19 cases at that facility, fear stalks the aisles of the institution.

The threat of the dreaded respiratory disease is whispered about sotto voce in every cell and it colours every interaction in already crowded, poorly ventilated holding areas, according to the inmate.

"Right now the whole prison shake up, everybody get giggy, people ah tek very precaution right now," the prisoner confided in Loop News

"Now it has been confirmed that the COVID-19 has been infecting inmates... the section of the prison where they relocate the inmates is now a restricted area sign was put up yesterday morning, so right now, every man ah fret."

The authorities have already begun to restrict movement within the institution. 

"No inmates from any sections of the NORTH from A North  to H North can't go to the tuck shop nor anywhere else in the prison and inmates have been moved from sections I, J, K, and L SOUTH and relocated elsewhere in the prison as the area is to be used for the new quarantine area," the prisoner said. 

The prisoner said that the situation is made all the more dire given the lack of personal protective equipment, blood pressure machines and temperature guns available. 

"The first quarantine area was E NORTH. The medical is now under more pressure as it has been operating with little or no PPE equipment. Plus  pressure and temperature testing equipment is almost non-existent." the prisoner revealed. 

Two cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed at the Tower Street Adult Correctional Centre.

The confirmation came from Minister without portfolio in the Ministry of National Security, Matthew Samuda.

The development means that two prison facilities have now confirmed COVID-19 cases. Earlier this month, five cases of COVID-19 were confirmed at the Horizon Adult Remand Centre, a maximum security facility based on Spanish Town Road in lower St Andrew.

"Those persons (at Horizon)  were held in isolation and treated medically, and have actually now recovered," Samuda said.

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