Isolation concerns for inmates

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THE temporary Covid-19 shelter used to isolate new prisoners in Lae’s Buimo Prison is now used to isolate sick inmates, prison commander Chief Supt Michael Wundia says.
“We have no quarantine building or facility for our prisoners,” he said, adding that new prisoners needed to be quarantined for seven to 14 days before they were sent into the compound with existing inmates.
“That is why prisoners or remandees are crowding police lockups.”
Chief Supt Wundia said the last time prisoners were sent into the compound was in the first week of April and then “we had a Covid-19 case which we used the quarantine shelter for isolation and advised the police not to bring in new remandees because there is no space to quarantine them”.
“We are now relying on contractors to bring in containers to the prison as isolation facilities,” he said.
“Only then can we accept remandees from the police.
“The delay in accepting remandees is because we are still waiting for the delivery of containers.
“The Correctional Services commissioner had made a commitment for this and the Lae City Authority (LCA) is our guarantor.
“In the event that the commissioner does not pay, the LCA will step in.
“So the contractor should have done something already.
“We have been waiting for the containers since January.
“In the meantime, we have two prisoners who tested Covid-19 positive.
“We have separated them and they are being isolated and treated in our prison clinic.
“They are recovering and shortly they will be moved back into the main compound after tests.”