26 confirmed Covid-19 cases at East London prison — mostly warders

Twenty-six cases of Covid-19 have been confirmed at East London Correctional Centre.
Twenty-six cases of Covid-19 have been confirmed at East London Correctional Centre.
Image: 123RF/Stockstudio44

There are 26 confirmed coronavirus cases at the East London Correctional Centre. Three are inmates while 23 are officials working at the Westbank centre.

All three of the infected inmates are women.

This was confirmed to DispatchLIVE by justice minister Ronald Lamola, who visited the centre on Sunday.

Lamola, Eastern Cape premier Oscar Mabuyane and health MEC Sindiswa Gomba were at the prison after a mass testing and screening process was undertaken at the facility.

This follows the revelation a week ago that an official had tested positive for Covid-19.

On Thursday night — just moments before President Cyril Ramaphosa announced a two-week extension to the nationwide lockdown — correctional services department spokesperson Singabakho Nxumalo said a second official had tested positive.

As a result of the two cases, Nxumalo said 73 other officials had since been tested for the virus. Thirty-two of them had been asked to self-isolate at home after they came in contact with the first positive case.

Prevention measures were intensified, he added.

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