The Department of Correctional Services confirmed that a prisoner’s death was related to Covid-19 earlier this month.
Department spokeswoman Singabakho Nxumalo confirmed that the death of a 50-year-old inmate was Covid-19 related to respiratory failure, which was identified as the cause of death. The prisoner died on May 20 in a prison in East London in the Eastern Cape.
Meanwhile, the number of Covid 19 cases among prisoners and officers has risen to 719. Nxumalo said 246 officers and 473 prisoners had already tested positive for Covid-19, with a total of 143 people recovering from the virus.
Nxumalo also confirmed that another nine officers in the Western Cape and one officer in the Eastern Cape tested positive for Covid-19.
A total of 413 prisoners and 76 officials in the Eastern Cape have tested positive for Covid-19 and three deaths have been reported. Nxumalo said 72 of them had already recovered from the virus.
In the Western Cape, a total of 51 prisoners and 155 officers have already tested positive, two deaths have been reported and 59 of them have already recovered from the virus.
In Limpopo, two officers tested positive for Covid-19 and recovered one staff member from the virus. In Gauteng, seven officers and nine prisoners tested positive and 10 of them had already recovered from the virus.
In the Northern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal, two officers in each of the provinces tested positive for Covid-19, respectively. In the Free State, one officer tested positive. There is also one officer who tested positive at the department’s headquarters, but has already recovered from the virus.