The number of COVID-19 cases at prisons has dropped to 35, from the 602 cases recorded between February 28 and March 1, Minister of Home Affairs Pehin Orang Kaya Seri Kerna Dato Seri Setia (Dr) Haji Awang Abu Bakar bin Haji Apong announced at the press conference yesterday.
On February 21, 38 cases were detected, before spiking to 602 cases. Medical officers at the Prisons Department moved swiftly to control the situation.
The Prisons Department also ran health protocols including performing antigen rapid test (ART) on COVID-positive cases on Days 5 and 7. The situation meant court proceedings for infected inmates were interrupted. Meanwhile, warders were urged to use personal protective equipment (PPE).
Religious programmes were also conducted for inmates to recite Surah Yaasiin and performs Sunnat Hajat prayers seeking blessings from Allah the Almighty.
Pehin Orang Kaya Seri Kerna Dato Seri Setia (Dr) Haji Awang Abu Bakar said 96 warders were infected and could not report for duty. Prisons Department personnel are required to conduct ART screening twice – when they report for work and before clocking out – to ensure they are not infected.
The minister reminded family members not to be alarmed by the situation which is now under control, noting that the Prisons Department does its best to safeguard the well-being of the inmates and its personnel.