11 Aug, 2020 | Posted By: Staff Reporter
Harare Prisons Are Safe From Covid-19

INMATES in Harare prisons remain safe from Covid-19 positive cases despite 53 positive cases found among officers, prisons medical director has said.

Zimbabwe Prisons and Correctional Service (ZPCS) medical director Dr Evidence Gaka said this on Monday at Chikurubi Maximum Prison during an awareness to discourage members of the public to visit inmates. 

He said 191 positive cases that includes inmates and prison officers had been recorded and more than 2000 people under went Covid-19 testing.

Prison officers found positive are currently at 118 with 53 cases recorded among inmates. Harare and Masvingo prisons have not recorded any positive cases among its inmates while Bulawayo leads other provinces with 67 inmates and 34 officers. 

Midlands has 23 officers and two inmates found positive, Matabeleland South has four officers and four inmates.

“As Zimbabwe Prisons and Correctional Service we have put a number of measures in place in an effort to curb the spread of Covid-19 in prisons,” said Dr Gaka. “Among the health measures includes foot bath, hand washing, sanitizing and religious putting on of face masks. 

“Every day we receive new admissions from magistrate courts and we do not mix them with other inmates but quarantine them and tests them.

“We do carry contact tracing among our officers and inmates who share cells.

“At Chikurubi Maximum Security Prison we have a medical laboratory with a Gene Expert machine we use to test tuberculosis, syphilis and it has been upgraded with new software to be able to test Covid-19.

“With enough consumables like cartridges the machine can test four people at a time and get results within an hour,” said Dr Gaka.

ZPCS discourages visits to prisons and are carrying campaigns against visiting of inmates throughout the country in an effort to curb the spread of Covid-19.

Inmates on remand can be visited by one person each week and first preference is given to their medical doctors and legal practitioners.


Staff Reporter
Staff Reporter
freelance reporter