Infections continue to climb as prisoners await ‘Covid-19 parole’

The department of correctional services reported 19 new coronavirus infections on Wednesday.
The department of correctional services reported 19 new coronavirus infections on Wednesday.
Image: Tebogo Letsie/The Times

As the department of correctional services continues to work on applications for thousands of inmates who may be eligible for parole, the number of coronavirus infections behind bars continues to rise.

On Wednesday, the department reported 19 more coronavirus infections – 10 inmates and nine officials - bringing the total number of infections to 355.

“The Western Cape recorded 11 new cases, the Eastern Cape five, Gauteng two and KwaZulu-Natal one,” said department spokesperson Singabakho Nxumalo.

“The number of recoveries remain at 92.” 

Three prisoners have died from complications related to the virus.

The Eastern Cape remains the hardest hit, with two fatalities reported thus far. The province has reported the bulk of the prison cases, with 233.

A total of 181 inmates and 52 officials have tested positive, 59 of whom have recovered.

The Western Cape has reported 102 coronavirus cases behind bars - 87 officials and 15 inmates. One death has been reported, while 30 people who previously tested positive have since recovered.

In Limpopo, two cases have been reported thus far. Both are officials and one of them has since recovered.

In Gauteng, nine inmates and six officials have tested positive for the virus. Out of all the 15 cases, only person has since recovered.

The Northern Cape, KwaZulu-Natal and the department's head office have each reported a single coronavirus infection, all involving officials.

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