Covid-19 | Two East London prison inmates die amid 'significant increase' in recoveries


Two inmates held at an East London-based prison have died of complications arising from Covid-19, the Department of Correctional Services (DCS) said on Tuesday. 

According to DCS spokesperson Singabakho Nxumalo, the inmates had "underlying co-morbid conditions". 

"We send our sincere condolences to their families. We continue to work with the Department of Health, adhering to all their guidelines in fighting against this pandemic," Nxumalo said.

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He said the DCS continued to record a "significant increase" in the number of Covid-19 recoveries following the recovery of 39 inmates in East London, taking the total number of recoveries to 60.

The total breakdown of Covid-19 infections and recoveries is as follows:

  • the Eastern Cape: 35 DCS officials, 65 inmates, 58 recoveries, two deaths;
  • the Western Cape: 49 officials, three inmates, with one death under investigation;
  • Limpopo: two officials, no inmates, with one recovery;
  • Gauteng: three officials, eight inmates;
  • head office: one official, one recovery.  

"The recoveries are a clear indication of the effectiveness of the containment and treatment pillar of the DCS's Covid-19 disaster management response strategy, there is rapid identification of laboratory-confirmed cases and inmates who test positive are isolated and have access to quality healthcare that enable their recovery."

Nxumalo said there were six new cases of Covid-19 in East London for inmates, taking the total number of cases at the DCS to 165.

"Our healthcare practitioners are already on site providing an array of health services. They have been provided with adequate personal protection equipment and they are attending to the cases and are monitoring the situation so that those in need of urgent medical attention can be attended to," he added.

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