The Greater Accra Regional Police Command says more inmates in cells across its jurisdiction have contracted the novel coronavirus but have been isolated.
Ghana, as of May 8, has recorded over 4,000 COVID-19 cases with 323 recoveries and 18 deaths.
Speaking to journalists on Saturday during a disinfection exercise by Zoomlion Ghana Limited, the Accra Regional Police Commander, DCOP Fred Adu Anim, said though he is unable to give out the number of infected inmates, measures are in place to contain the spread.
“Some of the inmates have already contracted the disease so we have separated them from the fresh suspects who would come into our custody. I can’t mention the number off-head but they have been taken to isolation centres.”
“If you listened to the news carefully, you will hear that two Nigeriens who were in our custody have been discharged having testing negative. I cannot talk about the others,” he noted.
Prisons overcrowded in coronavirus times
In recent times, attention has been drawn to the challenges prison facilities are facing in Ghana following the outbreak of the novel coronavirus in the country.
There have been complaints on the inability of the inmates to practise the safety protocols issued to prevent the disease such as practising social distancing, maintaining good personal hygiene and washing hands frequently.
The Ghana Prisons Service had earlier said practising social distancing among inmates in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak will be challenging especially at night due to the congestion.
Superintendent Courage Atsem who is Chief Public Relations Officer of the Ghana Prisons Service told Citi News that the Service had suspended all contact visits as part of efforts to prevent the spread of the disease.
“Social distancing can only be practised within the day. Where they are open and they are able to move about but at night where they are supposed to sleep, their cells are usually congested and that is why our concern is to ensure that we do not record any case,” he said.
It is for reasons as such that the Prisons Service is calling for the swift passage of the Non-Custodial Sentencing Bill to help decongest Ghana’s prisons as COVID-19 is still spreading.
COVID-19 in Ghana
Ghana’s case count of the novel Coronavirus has shot up from 3,091 to 4,012, with 18 deaths and 323 recoveries.
This was captured by the Ghana Health Service (GHS) website on Friday, May 8, 2020.
According to GHS, “over 50% of these [new] cases were as a result of an outbreak in an industrial facility with 1,300 workers of which 533 have been confirmed positive.”
The website, however, did not give the name of the industrial facility.