BASSETERRE, St. Kitts - FOLLOWING the confirmation of nine COVID-19 cases among inmates, management of Her Majesty’s Prison in Basseterre have implemented additional measures to combat the spread of the virus.
As this publication been reporting, last week prison authorities had confirmed one case among inmates after two staff members had tested positive and, by Monday (June 14) that number had risen rose by eight.
Now it has prompted additional measures to combat the spread, such as further testing and sanitisation methods.
In a media statement, the Commissioner of Corrections, Terrance James, explained that the management of Her Majesty’s Prison moved swiftly to implement measures to protect the health of personnel and residents after members of staff and inmates tested positive for the virus.
The prison recorded its first confirmed case on June 10, after the return of a resident’s test result.
That inmate reportedly complained of feeling unwell and was rushed to the JNF Hospital where his samples tested positive.
According to James, on the following day, the test results for two members of staff were positive as well.
All of this comes as some inmates were not vaccinated due to their reluctance and their families’ disapproval, which was announced by the Medical Chief-of-Staff, Dr. Cameron Wilkinson, at last evening’s (June 16) NEOC media brief.
Meanwhile, the Commissioner of Corrections assured the public that they are doing everything they could to safeguard the health of all concerned, as prison officials continue to work with the COVID-19 Task Force and the Chief Medical Officer to bring the situation under control.
James stated that he has been working closely with the National COVID-19 Task Force and has been receiving advice from the Chief Medical Officer in the Ministry of Health on the steps to be taken in order to contain the situation.
He also stated that other staff members were identified, placed in quarantine and tested, noting: “Thankfully, their results so far have been negative.”
Concerns of isolation were also addressed in a statement, which pointed out in part that an area has also been established inside the prison where affected residents have been placed.
The facility is currently on lockdown to the public in order to prevent anyone from contracting the virus from visitors, and no items are being accepted into the prison for residents.