Coronavirus in Mexico: Inmates and prison guard contract COVID-19

According to authorities, the prison guard spread the virus among the inmates

Mexico: Inmates and prison guard contract COVID-19
Photo: Mexican prisons are unhygienic, overcrowded, and lack basic services - Photo: Edwin Hernández/EL UNIVERSAL
English 16/04/2020 12:12 Rebeca Jiménez Jacinto Mexico City Actualizada 13:55
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After a prison guard and four inmates tested positive for COVID-19, a total of 23 inmates were transported to another prison in the state of Mexico. According to state authorities, the inmates contracted the virus through a prison guard who had also been working at a local hospital. 

After the outbreak, authorities transported the inmates to another prison, which was modified to be used as a hospital to treat COVID-19 patients.

According to authorities, none of the inmates “has serious symptoms, nevertheless, the decision was made for medical experts to monitor and treat the cases until they improve. Meanwhile, prison authorities have kept in touch with their families and have been timely notified about their health.”

Recommended: How will the prison system handle the COVID-19 pandemic?

It’s been said that the contagion sources was a prison guard who accompanied an inmate to the José Vicente Villada General Hospital, where the person was receiving medical attention. However, several COVID-19 cases were registered in the hospital.

The prison guard is “at home and receiving medical attention and is being monitored by experts from the Social Security Institute of the State of Mexico (ISSEMyM).”

The Cuautitlán prison, were they outbreak was registered, is one of the most overcrowded prisons in the state. 

In a bid to prevent the spread of coronavirus, prison authorities canceled visits but will allow relatives to bring hygiene products to the inmates, who can call their families on weekends for free. 

Recommended: Live Updates: COVID-19 death toll in Mexico

On April 15, the National Human Rights Commission (CNDH) informed that there are six COVID-19 cases inside Mexican prisons, and another 24 suspected cases. 

Besides the cases registered in the Cuautitlán prison, the sixth one was registered in a Yucatán prison

The CNDH has urged federal and state authorities to implement hygiene measures inside prison and prevent the spread of coronavirus among inmates, prison guards, staff, and families who visit their relatives.

NGOs warned EL UNIVERSAL that over 200,000 are at risk of contracting COVID-19 if authorities don’t implement health and hygiene measures immediately. 

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