Surge of Covid-19 cases in overcrowded Rwandan prisons

By Maniraguha Ferdinand

Some prisons are overpopulated which may put at risks lives of inmates
Some prisons are overpopulated which may put at risk lives of inmates

Rwanda has recorded a surge in number of Covid-19 cases since Monday, 9th November 2020,  including new cases that were detected in prisons.

By Wednesday, thirteen new cases were recorded in Nsinda Prison, in the Eastern Province with four fatalities, officials said.

On Wednesday, the central African country announced new fifty cases, with 27 cases found in Nyarugenge prison in the capital Kigali.

There are fear that the surge of cases into prisons can spiral the second wave of the pandemic, which has so far claimed 41 lives since March this year.

Minister of State in charge of Primary Healthcare at the Ministry of Health, Dr Mpunga Tharcisse told local media that measures have been taken to curb the spread of Covid-19 into prisons.

He said that medical teams have been sent to prisons to test, trace and take care of inmates who are positive. Elderly inmates have been separated from others.

Last month Rwandan Senate has expressed worries over a high number of inmates that are overcrowding prisons, after discovering that in some prisons overcrowd stands at 125% by 2019 from 99.6 % in 2014.

As of Wednesday, 11 November 2020, Rwanda had recorded 5312 Covid-19 cases.

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