Malawi Human Rights Commission (MHRC) prison monitoring exercise for the impact of Covid-19 which began on July 8 has shown that prisons have made steady progress to fight the pandemic.
In an interview, MHRC public relations officer Kate Kujaliwa said although the exercise is ongoing challenges in prisons remain.
She said: “Each and every prison has its own challenges due to geographical location or number of people in a particular cell but in some cases the situation is the same for others.”
“Issues that are standing out are problems of social distance but generally the police and prisons have facilities like hand washing soap and baskets that are assisting as preventive measures.”
Malawi Prisons Service (MPS) Covid-19 statistics show that cases in prisons in the country have a low ‘severity’ on the proportion of people who die among all individuals diagnosed with the virus.
According to an MPS Covid-19 weekly update, as of August 1 cumulatively 1 242 inmates and 82 staff were tested positive but out of the 224 total active cases the fatality rate was at 0.2 percent.
The update also shows that 3 650 inmates and 632 staff have received at least one jab of Oxford AstraZeneca.
In an interview, MPS spokesperson Chimwemwe Shaba said plans were underway to ensure that all prisons get Covid-19 vaccines.
“All prisons accessed the vaccines but this was dependent on the availability and demand of vaccines in particular districts,” said Shaba.