More than 500 inmates — almost half of the population — at a prison in the U.S. state of Arizona have tested positive for COVID-19, local prison officials have said.
According to the Arizona Department of Corrections, 517 inmates at the ASPC-Tucson Whetstone prison have contracted coronavirus and have been housed in separate areas as well as receiving medical care.
“They will not be allowed back into the general population until they have been medically cleared,” the department said in a statement.
The number of COVID-19 cases in the U.S. surpassed 4.8 million by Wednesday, reaching 4,802,275 as of 3:34 p.m. local time (1934 GMT), according to the Centre for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins University.
Among the cases in Arizona, seven fatal infections occurred in state prisons.
Meanwhile, About 12 inmates tested Covid-19 in a Kirinyaga county police station on Monday.
A signal sent to the county headquarters by the Kianyaga police station showed that it was unable to cope with the big numbers of Covid-19 positive inmates.
“It is proving to be difficult to get an extra cell to separate positive and negative cases. Breakdown as follows Juvevile 1 positive, we have three females with two being positive and 33 males of whom nine are positive. Only 25 are negative,” a signal sent out on Wednesday titled positive 19 cases.
The signal added that they did not also have facilities to host 12 positive inmates as well as 25 who tested negative.
This left the lives of the 25 at risk.
The station was holding 37 inmates at the time they sent the signal to their county and national bosses.
This comes a day after the Ministry of Health CAS Rashid Aman said, “Those with respiratory conditions should take extra care as they are more susceptible to infections. Keep warm, keep well hydrated, wear a mask, engage in physical exercises and take prescribed medications.”
Data from Wednesday’s briefing show that the number of positive cases in the country now stands at 23,873 after 671 more cases were confirmed by the ministry in a day.
The new cases were from 6,200 samples tested in a day. The total number of tests conducted since the first case is now 329,123.