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The Ghana Prisons Service has said it is “almost impossible” for it to observe social distancing protocols among inmates due to the congested nature of the holding facilities.
The Director of Public Affairs of the Ghana Prisons Service, Superintendent Courage Atsem, told Valentina Ofori-Afriyie on Class91.3FM’s mid-day news 12Live, social distancing is one thing they find “extremely difficult” to implement.
“Social distancing is something, I must say, is almost impossible for us to do in our prisons”, Supt. Atsem conceded, adding: “The best that we can do, especially in the central prisons, which are a bit bigger in terms of space within the compound, [is that] they can manage some form of social distancing within the day but in the night where inmates are put in congested rooms, it’s extremely difficult to observe social distancing”.
“And, so, social distancing is one we find ourselves extremely difficult to do”, he admitted.
He, however, noted that the Ghana Prisons Service has put in place some measures to keep the virus at bay.
“As an institution, we are aware that in view of the congested nature of our prisons, should we have cases, it will be very difficult to control and, therefore, our focus on the get-go has been on prevention”, Supt. Atsem noted.
“Therefore, apart from the protocols that the President has asked us to observe, the Prisons Service has also put in place further measures aimed at preventing the disease from entering our prisons.
“Some of the measures include the suspension of all group or church-related activities from outside and suspension of all contact visits by family members”.
He also said both the staff and inmates of the prisons have been given face masks to use.
Currently, Ghana’s COVID-19 case count is 12,590 with 66 deaths while 4,410 people have recovered.
The number of active cases stands at 8,114.