The Kericho GK Prison has been put under total lockdown after 48 prison officers and inmates tested positive for COVID-19.
A notice from Kericho’s department has banned movement in and outside the facility in Kericho Town. Total lockdown was deemed the option to curb further spread of the coronavirus from the facility to the public.
Relatives and friends with inmates in prison have also been asked to hold all visits until further notice.Kericho Governor Paul Chepkwony said the health department conducted a mass-testing exercise after a member of staff tested positive earlier. The county added that the 48 cases were in stable condition and contact tracing had also began.
“We initiated mass testing in public facilities including the GK Prisons which has now emerged as one of the most hit facilities in the county,” said Chepkwony.
The county boss revealed that since May 2020, when the first Covid-19 patient was reported and admitted at the Kericho county hospital, they had tested 2689 samples, out of which 213 tested positive for Covid-19.
“61 are currently admitted in our isolation facilities, whereas 52 are being managed under the home-based care initiative,” he said.
Governor Chepkwony added that professionals had successfully linked 32 cases to their home counties for management.
Health officials have been are grappling with Covid-19 containment measures in congested prisons across the country with the effects of infections in prisons spreading to the courts.
As a result some court proceedings have been disrupted in various parts of the country as the Covid-19 situation worsens in many counties due to inadequate preparedness.
Health officials in Migori blamed the spike in Covid-19 cases to congestion in prison, cells, after 96 infections were reported at the Migori GK Prison in early August.
The Nyanza Regional Prisons Commander Hassan Bugu said facilities had been instructed to set aside quarantine and isolation blocks in Migori, Kisii and Kisumu as part of measures to curb the spread of Covid-19.
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