Kenya frees 7,000 inmates after outbreak of coronavirus in Nairobi prison
London, May 11, 2020 (AltAfrica)-Kenya has released 7,000 inmates in a bid to decongest prisons since coronavirus pandemic hit the country, Interior Minister Fred Matiang’i has told Senators.
The minister told the Senate’s Corvid-19 committee that two cases were detected in a prison in the capital, Nairobi.
The health ministry has started conducting mass testing in prisons across the country, the local Citizen TV reports.
In a press briefing on Saturday, Health Ministry CAS Dr. Rashid Aman said the Ministry had received reports on the two cases, adding that prisons are one of the high risk areas.
“These two cases in Industrial Area Remand Prison I’m certain that our Emergency Operation Centre and Rapid Response Team must have been alerted and are aware of it. The correctional facilities are one of those high risk areas we have identified because of their nature and closeness,” said Dr. Aman.
He said it is part of the Ministry’s plan to begin mass testing in prisons across the country.
“Part of our testing is to get into these facilities, work with the prison department in order to be able to determine whether there is transmission of Covid-19 within these facilities and then put in all those necessary measures that we require to protect the inmates,” stated the Health CAS.
Kenya has so far confirmed 672 coronavirus cases in total and 32 deaths.
The government has restricted movement in and out the Nairobi and the second biggest city of Mombasa, as well as two other counties in the coastal region.
It has also imposed a total lockdown in two areas identified as virus hot spots – one in Nairobi and the other in Mombasa – for 15 days.