Zimbabwe: Covid-19 - 6 Officers, Four Inmates Die

22 April 2021

Six prison officers and four inmates succumbed to Covid-19 following a spike in cases during the festive season.

During the festive season, the country recorded a sharp increase in Covid-19 cases with more than 1 000 cases and an average of 30 deaths being reported in a week.

On January 5, the country recorded 34 deaths which was the highest number recorded in a single day since the outbreak of the pandemic in March last year.

The country's cumulative deaths reached 500 on January 10 and two weeks later the figure doubled to 1 005.

The surge in Covid-19 infections was caused by the movement of people who travelled into and throughout the country during the festive season.

Government blamed members of the public's complacency and negligence for the spike in cases and deaths during the festive period.

In an interview, Zimbabwe Prisons and Correctional Service (ZPCS) Commissioner-General Moses Chihobvu said despite the surge in cases during the festive period, they didn't record alarming cases.

"We have four inmates and six prison officers who succumbed to Covid-19 during the festive period across the country. The numbers are not alarming given our population and we are happy that the situation is under control," he said.

"Comm-Gen Chihobvu said ZPCS was strictly adhering to the Ministry of Health and Child Care as well as the World Health Organisation's health regulations.

He said the institution had put various measures in place at all prisons in the country to prevent the spread of the virus.

Comm-Gen Chihobvu said the suspension of prison visits by inmates' relatives was part of the measures put in place to curb the spread of the pandemic.

"We have come up with a number of measures at our prisons meant to protect our inmates and staff from contracting Covid-19," he said.

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