KAMPALA– The Spokesperson of Uganda Prisons Services Frank Baine has said that so far only 18% of Country’s 66,832 total inmates have been vaccinated with only 2% having received their second jab.
Baine explains that their target is to vaccinate at least 50% of the inmates to reduce the severity and rate of infection of Covid-19.
He disclosed that ever since Covid-19 was detected in Uganda in March last year, 1,920 inmates have contracted the virus and fortunately most of the inmates who got the virus have recovered.
“We have had a cumulative number of 1,920 inmates but 1,894 have recovered. Even the 272 staff that had got the virus, 255 have fully recovered from the disease,” Baine said.
Baine however said that Uganda Prisons Service has registered 7 deaths that include four inmates and three prisons staff and currently, they have 36 active cases of Covid-19 who include 22 prisoners and 14 staff who are being treated in isolation centres in Gulu, Jinja, and Mbarara.
Despite the meagre number of vaccinated prisoners, Baine said 99% of prisons staff have been vaccinated against Covid-19 adding that the staff who have received two doses of AstraZeneca stand at 78%.
He said that the Uganda Prisons Services have now received 17,520 doses of AstraZeneca and believe these will help them hit the 50% mark.
Baine disclosed that the Commissioner General of Prisons Canon Dr Johnson Byabashaija has lifted a ban on visiting prisoners but has set up strict conditions for whoever wants to see an inmate in any of the government prisons and only vaccinated visitors will be allowed to access the prisons.
“You are allowed to visit prisoners, but if you are not vaccinated you are not welcome and anybody going to visit a prisoner must be vaccinated and must present Covid-19 negative results obtained within 72 hours,” Baine said.
He said that testing for Covid-19 costs Ugx 50,000 and above and those who cannot afford the testing costs have been advised to always wait for their relatives in courts of law, but most trials and hearings are conducted via video conferencing.