Some Covid-19 positive inmates from Helderstroom Prison transferred to Pollsmoor
The Helderstroom Maximum Correctional Centre remains on lockdown after an alarming increase in Covid-19 infections among inmates last week.
The Department of Correctional Services has confirmed that at least 152 inmates and eight officials have tested positive for the virus at the facility in Caledon.
Correctional Services spokesperson Singabakho Nxumalo says some inmates are self-isolating in separate sections within the facility that have been designated for isolation and quarantine purposes.
However, officials are concerned that the nearest hospital in Caledon has no bed capacity, should inmates require critical care.
It's for that reason that some inmates have been transferred to Pollsmoor Maximum Security Prison, which is closer to a number of hospitals in the Cape metro.
We said let us then transfer some inmates who are positive to Pollsmoor because we do have a site there for isolation purposes.Singabakho Nxumalo, Spokesperson - Department of Correctional Services
Pollsmoor is in the metropole and there are more than enough hospitals, should some of those who are positive reach a critical stage, they can be transferred into those hospitals.Singabakho Nxumalo, Spokesperson - Department of Correctional Services
Helderstroom remains on lockdown up until such a time that a number of those who are positive have recovered then we can start to ease the restrictions that we have placed there and open it up.Singabakho Nxumalo, Spokesperson - Department of Correctional Services
It doesn't mean that the facility is not operation at all, but there's a serious reduction in what can be done and a reduction in terms of movement.Singabakho Nxumalo, Spokesperson - Department of Correctional Services
Nxumalo explains that there are currently no visitors allowed at correctional centres in South Africa, except for legal representatives who have to submit formal requests.
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Source : Thomas Holder/EWN.