Mzuzu Prison authorities have expressed worry over the increase in number of inmates amidst Covid-19 pandemic.
The facility’s spokesperson McBirth Mwasambo said the situation if not checked may lead to further spread of the virus at the facility.
He said: “Just last week, we received 77 illegal immigrants from Ethiopia, who were arrested for entering the country without valid travelling documents.
“This has increased pressure on the already congested facility.”
Mwasambo said the prison which has a holding capacity of 500 inmates, is holding about 700 inmates.
Because of congestion and other factors, the prison has recorded six positive cases but all have recovered, he said.
On his part, Mzuzu Prison Health Clinic-in-charge Inspector Herbert Chatha agreed that due to congestion, social and physical distance could be a challenge to inmates.
He said: “So far, only hand washing, putting on face masks, hand sanitising as well as health education is working well for both inmates and staff.”
Chatha further suggested that the most viable intervention would be to decongest the facility by pardoning who have served most of their sentences or reducing sentences of some inmates.