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Kitgum Prison Turned Into Covid-19 Quarantine Center for Inmates

Frank Baine, Uganda Prisons Spokesperson, says that the prison cells will be used to hold new inmates on remand from all over Acholi sub-region to curb the spread of COVID-19.
Inmates at Gulu Central Prison in Gulu City attend a plea bargain judicial session in 2018. Photo By Julius Ocungi

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The Uganda Prisons Services have started evacuating inmates from Kitgum Government prisons to turn the facility into a temporary quarantine centre.

Prison authorities began moving close to 300 inmates to the neighbouring Orom prison in Orom Sub County, Kitgum District and Lututuru prison in Agoro Sub County, Lamwo district on Friday.

Frank Baine, Uganda Prisons Spokesperson, says that the prison cells will be used to hold new inmates on remand from all over Acholi sub-region to curb the spread of COVID-19.

This comes just a few days after two inmates from Pece Prison in Gulu city who had been transferred from Amuru district tested positive for COVID-19.

The facility was immediately sealed off and some 254 inmates and 40 prison staffs placed on quarantine. The two COVID-19 positive inmates are on treatment at Gulu Regional Referral Hospital.

Baine says they intend to curtail a repeat of mixing new inmates with those who were already on remand or serving their sentences to limit the spread of COVID-19 in an already crowded space.

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Baine says Kitgum Government Prison will resume normal operations until the inmates and prison staff in Pece Prison in Gulu city and Amuru district finish the mandatory 14 days quarantine.

He notes that Uganda Prisons services are committed to ensuring that inmates in all government detention facilities are kept safe from the contagion through constantly creating isolation units.

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Uganda prisons services registered the first case of COVID-19 last month after an inmate who had been in isolation at Kaiti Prison in Namutumba district tested positive for the virus.