According to Baine, the 13,000 doses have been district to the 260 prison facilities across the country purposely to vaccinate high-risk inmates and prison warders. Uganda Prisons have so far registered 1,915 positive COVID-19 cases since the pandemic broke out in Uganda in March 2020.
Courtsey photo of Baine
Prisons Service –UPS has resumed vaccinating inmates at high risk
of contracting COVID-19 after receiving another 13,000
doses of AstraZeneca from the Ministry of Health.
Although there are currently 65, 190
inmates and 12,000 prison staff, Prison Spokesperson Frank
Baine, says they are prioritizing
only those aged 50 years and above as well those with
pre-existing conditions. At least 6800 inmates with chronic conditions, which exposes them to
severe disease have been identified. UPS
had earlier on vaccinated more than 2000 inmates from the earlier doses received.
According to Baine, the
13,000 doses have been district to the 260 prison facilities across the country purposely to vaccinate high-risk inmates and prison warders. Uganda Prisons have so far registered 1,915 positive
COVID-19 cases since the pandemic broke out in Uganda in March 2020.
“The cumulative COVID-19 cases we have registered in all our 260 prisons include 1,719 prisoners, one hundred twenty-seven
prisons staff and sixty-eight relatives of prisons staff. We currently have
only ninety-five active cases,” Baine said.
At least three inmates, one prison officer
and a relative have succumbed to the virus. “After
receiving the new vaccines, we are now vaccinating staff and those people are
supposed to receive their second dose. We shall continue fighting this
pandemic,” Baine added.
Last month, Baine express worry about the
increasing COVID-19 positive cases among inmates. It came after Uganda
Prisons registered over 130 positive COVID-19 cases within six days. However, it was later established
that most of the new cases of new remand inmates, most sent to prison for flouting guidelines preventive measures.
More than 2,300 people were charged and
remanded in the second lockdown. These included people who were found boozing
in bars, those smuggling passengers from one district to another despite a ban
on inter-district movement and those arrested for flouting curfew time. Fortunately, UPS identified the positive COVID-19
cases while the inmates were still in isolation.
According to Baine, the new
remand inmates and prisoners are not allowed to mingle with the old inmates. The new inmates are
locked up in isolation centres in Kitalya, Jinja, Mbarara
and Gulu. 3587 out of the 65,190 inmates in prisons are
on remand while the remaining 30,009 are convicts.
Senior Staff Reporter
Joseph Kato is currently a Master's candidate at Makerere University. He holds a Bachelors Degree in Mass Communication from Kampala International University, a Diploma in Journalism and he's also a graduate in Guidance and Counseling.