In addition to cases at Ksar El Kebir, four prison staff at Loudaya’s local prison and two in Ouarzazate have COVID-19.
Rabat – While assuring the public only two prisoners have tested positive for COVID-19, the General Delegation for Prison Administration and Rehabilitation (DGAPR) has announced nine infections among prison officials at three different Moroccan prisons.
Two inmates and four prison officials at the local prison of Ksar El Kebir, south of Tangier, have tested positive for the coronavirus.
Three officials at the local prison of Loudaya, near Marrakech, and the director of the local prison of Ouarzazate also came down with COVID-19, Maghreb Arab Press (MAP) reported on Sunday, April 19.
DGAPR first announced five infections at Ksar El Kebir six days ago.
In an effort to reduce potential exposure to the virus, DGAPR has divided prison employees into two rotating groups. One group works for two weeks and then stays home while the second group works for two weeks.
In its press release, the prison administration explained it is carrying out medical examinations on all prison employees every two weeks: At the end of their rotation and before their rotation begins.
While one prison employee at Loudaya tested positive for the coronavirus on April 8, three others about to begin their rotation at work tested positive on April 11 after the medical evaluation singled out 93 people for coronavirus testing.
The infections at Ksar El Kebir were detected in the group ending their two-week work rotation when staff with symptoms of the coronavirus were tested.
The four employees to test positive at Ksar El Kebir had interacted with four inmates. All four inmates received COVID-19 tests, and the results for one, whom DGAPR released, came back positive on April 8.
DGAPR had tests performed on 55 other inmates at Ksar El Kebir, revealing a second prisoner with COVID-19. Health authorities proceeded to test everyone at the prison yesterday.
The final two COVID-19 cases in Moroccan prisons are in the local prison of Ouarzazate. In addition to the prison director, a civil servant who completed his two-week rotation of work on April 11 also tested positive.
The official had shown no symptoms of the virus.
Two infected out of 80,000 prisoners
DGAPR has set guidelines for inmates and prison staff to prevent infections, including the use of masks, providing protective clothing for staff, and using sterilizing products in the facilities.
DGAPR is also isolating new prison inmates in case any of them have the virus.
The administration stressed the low rate of infections among the prison population, noting there are 80,000 detainees across the country, and only two have COVID-19. There are 10,200 prison officials and nine confirmed cases among them.
King Mohammed VI pardoned 5,654 prisoners two weeks ago. The prisoners were to gain their release gradually and are receiving the pardon based on their age, length of prison sentence, health, and conduct.
Countries around the world have released tens of thousands of detainees in an effort to reduce crowding in prisons.