After 101 detainees and employees tested positive for COVID-19, the authorities in Soroti have shuttered Nakatunya jail in Soroti city for two weeks.
Last week, the institution was closed to allow for fumigation and treatment of the inmates and personnel who were impacted.
The decision was made to allow the COVID-19 team and the prison management to concentrate on several concerns, according to Resident District Commissioner Patrick Okumu.
He explained that Nakatunya jail serves as an isolation center where incoming inmates are evaluated and managed before being mixed in with the rest of the detainees. He goes on to state that it used to be standard procedure to test every new inmate before they were admitted, but that the issue had gotten out of hand.
The convicts have been brought to Jinja for treatment, according to Okumu, because the facility has been fumigated and prepped.
One of the doctors in charge of COVID-19 at the Soroti COVID-19 Treatment Unit-CTU, Dr. Alfred Adakun, said the facility had more occupants, including the staff.
“All of the detainees and employees were transferred to Kumi jail first, and those who tested positive were then transported to Jinja for treatment. We anticipate that most of them will have recovered and will be returned in two weeks. Kumi prison will also be shuttered for two weeks to allow for fumigation,” he added.
According to Frank Baine, a spokesman for the prisons, every offender who tests positive for COVID-19 is sent to one of the five prisoner treatment centers located across the country. Instead of mingling them in government treatment institutions, they include Jinja, Moroto, Gulu, Mbarara, and Kampala. He goes on to say that the prison facilities are being shut down to allow for the fumigation of prison cells.
Prisons Services in Uganda have reported a total of 2,009 cases, according to Baine, with five deaths among employees, relatives of workers, and three inmates. 34 detainees were sent to Jinja Prisoner’s Treatment Centre, he said our correspondent.
Teso is a hotspot for COVID-19 infections, with over 1,000 cases currently active. Because of the limited space at Soroti CTU, the majority of the patients are handled at home.