The local prison of Ouarzazate is one of the hardest-hit COVID-19 hotspots in Morocco, with 270 confirmed cases.
Rabat – Morocco’s General Delegation for Prison Administration and Reintegration (DGAPR) has launched large-scale testing for COVID-19 at all Moroccan prisons, in coordination with health and administrative authorities.
Two civil servants at the second local prison of Sale, near Rabat, tested positive for the novel coronavirus but are awaiting a second test.
Testing at the local prisons of Oujda, northeastern Morocco, and Tetouan, northern Morocco, have also detected one COVID-19 case in each. The two patients then underwent a second test that came back negative.
Morocco is requiring recovered COVID-19 patients get two negative test results before being considered fully recovered. The results from Oujda and Tetouan require a third test, and DGAPR noted it has not received those results yet.
Besides the cases in Sale, Oujda, and Tetouan, the results of COVID-19 tests at 47 prisons across the country, as well as partial results from 10 correctional facilities, came back negative.
DGAPR conducted tests on 1,736 people, including 961 inmates, 711 civil servants, and 64 employees.
Meanwhile, test results from 16 other prisons are not yet available.
The mass testing at Moroccan prisons comes after the detection of a COVID-19 outbreak in the local prison of Ouarzazate, southern Morocco, earlier this week.
COVID-19 tests at the prison revealed the infection of 207 inmates and 62 civil servants as well as a correctional officer who joined the prison to replace an infected employee.
Test results of 55 other inmates in Ouarzazate are not yet available, while three suspected cases are undergoing more COVID-19 tests.
In response to the COVID-19 outbreak in the prison, DGAPR has equipped the facility with mobile medical units to ensure the treatment of infected prisoners without further contamination.
DGAPR has also enforced the wearing of special clothing for correctional officers and for anyone interacting with prisoners, in addition to reinforcing safety and security measures at the entrances and exits of the prison.