Rwanda takes measures to control spread of COVID-19 in prisons

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NYANZA, RWANDA - APRIL 03: Prisoners walk out of the Golf Wing, where men convicted of genocide are housed, at the Nyanza Prison April 3, 2014 in Nyanza, Rwanda. Of the 6567 prisoners kept at the correctional facility, 5827 of them were convicted of participating in or leading the 1994 Rwandan genocide, where Hutu extremists killed more than 800,000 while attempting to wipe out the Tutsi people. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
NYANZA, RWANDA – APRIL 03: Prisoners walk out of the Golf Wing, where men convicted of genocide are housed, at the Nyanza Prison April 3, 2014 in Nyanza, Rwanda. Of the 6567 prisoners kept at the correctional facility, 5827 of them were convicted of participating in or leading the 1994 Rwandan genocide, where Hutu extremists killed more than 800,000 while attempting to wipe out the Tutsi people. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

The Rwandan Ministry of Health on Monday said it has taken “stringent” measures to control the spread of COVID-19 in prisons after 13 cases were recorded at a prison in Rwamagana District, Eastern Province.

“In Rwamagana District, out of 39 patients who were recently tested after showing coronavirus symptoms such as high temperature and respiratory issues, 13 from Nsinda prison tested positive for the virus,” Rwandan Health Minister Daniel Ngamije said on the national broadcaster Rwanda Television.

“As these inmates had not gone anywhere else, we saw it as a pointer to a large problem at the prison. It is in that regard that stringent measures have been taken to control, including mass testing for inmates and residents in surrounding areas,” he said, adding that visits to inmates in all prisons are to be banned.

The central African nation on Monday reported 20 new cases and seven recoveries, bringing the total cases and total recoveries to 5,242 and 4,967 respectively.

Generally, the number of new daily confirmed cases of COVID-19 dropped but the virus is “still real,” said the health minister.

The government is going to tighten measures in places with a high concentration of people such as markets, parks, and prisons until a vaccine is introduced, he said

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