54 prison officers, 44 inmates contracted COVID-19 since March – Superintendent Atsem reveals

The Director of Public Affairs of the Ghana Prisons Service, Superintendent Courage Atsem, has revealed that 54 prison officers and 44 inmates contracted the deadly COVID-19 virus since it broke in the country in March.

Ghana prisons

Following the spread of the virus, Ghana pardoned 794 prisoners as part of measures to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

According to the Ghana Prisons Service, the prisoners were pardoned with the approval of President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo.

They comprised people who had been arrested for the first time, were seriously ill or aged 70 and above.

Previously, 808 prisoners were pardoned as part of the country’s COVID-19 measures.


Superintendent Courage Atsem in an interview on Accra-based Starr FM said special rooms were designated for isolation for recorded cases reported and monitoring of new inmates, to curb the spread.

"From March till now. For inmates, we had a total of forty-four cases, for officers we had a total of fifty-four cases. And I must say that as we speak now all of them have recovered. We don’t have an active case at the moment," he said.

He noted that "it is important to indicate that all the cases recorded especially from the side of the inmates were imported to the prison. It was through the inmates that the officers also got infected.

"Through the admission process and all. So, what the police administration did was to designate seven facilities purposely for new admissions. The idea was that we didn’t want to add new inmates whose status we didn’t know, to the existing stock."


"Because we know that due to the congestion, should one case happen, based on the total number, the rate of transmission will be very fast and huge. Therefore the prison administration designated these facilities just for new admissions. And because the numbers were not huge we were able to manage. Some rooms were designated for isolation and management of such cases," he added.


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