Namibia: Covid-19 Cases Increasing in Jails

COVID-19 cases in the country's correctional facilities are increasing as 62 new infections have been recorded in facilities countrywide within the last two days.

The commissioner general of the Namibian Correctional Service (NCS), Raphael Hamunyela, yesterday said cases have been picking up since Tuesday.

"Since the beginning of this year, it has been slow with the cases, but now there is an increase," Hamunyela said.

The has NCS sent 149 samples for testing, of which 62 have tested positive, 23 negative, and the remaining results are still to come.

"We hope they are negative," he said.

Most of the cases were recorded at the Elizabeth Nepemba Correctional Facility at Rundu.

Hamunyela said overall 1 040 inmates and 569 officers have tested positive for Covid-19.

The current active cases stand at 99 inmates and 51 officers.

The NCS has recorded 13 deaths since the virus hit, including four inmates and nine officers.

They have, however, not had any hospitalised cases.

Hamunyela said it is difficult to maintain social distancing in units at the facilities.

"The space is not enough. This has been our challenge, but we keep trying. We continue to receive masks and sanitisers from the Ministry of Health and Social Services," he said.

About 210 officers have received a first vaccination, while 69 have had a second shot, while 659 inmates have received a first and 69 a second vaccination.

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