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Oshana inmates fear for their safety

2020-09-17  Nuusita Ashipala

Oshana inmates fear for their safety
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ONGWEDIVA - Inmates at the Oshakati police holding cells are living in fear of contracting Covid-19 after a fellow prisoner tested positive on Tuesday.
After receiving his results, the inmate was allegedly returned to the cells where there are 15 other inmates.
New Era has it on good authority that the inmate was transferred from Rundu to Oshakati on 5 September and was swabbed for Covid-19 on 10 September. 
The accused is currently on trial for murder at the Oshakati High Court.
It is the first Covid-19 case to be registered at the Oshakati holding cells.

Oshana police head of administration, Deputy Commissioner Nico Steenkamp confirmed that an inmate has tested positive and was by yesterday still in the cells.
He said the health directorate in the region has been informed about the inmate and is waiting for a directive where the inmate can be placed.
“It is true that an inmate has tested positive, but arrangements are being made to isolate him from the other inmates,” said Steenkamp.
He said the situation at hand is complex because of the nature of the offence that the accused is facing.

“The accused is dangerous, he is on trial for murder, hence we need to find a secure place, he just can’t be placed anywhere,” said Steenkamp.
He said further arrangements are also being made to isolate the other 15 inmates who have been in contact with the inmate who tested positive in order to contain the spread of Covid-19 in the cells.

Steenkamp said there is currently no space to isolate the inmate and the 15 others as the holding cells are already overcrowded. 
“We understand their plea to be removed and we are working on it, but we do not have additional space. At the moment, we can only wish that his fellow cellmates will test negative,” said Steenkamp.

2020-09-17  Nuusita Ashipala

Tags: Oshana
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