GDP arms Phnom Penh inmates with Covid jabs, Preah Sihanouk next

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Inmates gather at the Preah Sihanouk provincial prison. Directorate General of Prisons

The General Department of Prisons (GDP) under the Ministry of Interior will vaccinate 1,700 inmates in Preah Sihanouk province after completing the vaccination of more than 10,000 detainees in Phnom Penh in a three-day campaign, according to GDP spokesman Nuth Savana.

"We are working faster than planned, so we finished vaccinating in Phnom Penh prisons on May 9. We are now waiting for approval to vaccinate inmates in Preah Sihanouk province where there are high risks of Covid-19 transmission. There are over 1,700 detainees in the prison," Savana said.

On May 8, the Preah Sihanouk Provincial Administration released a report revealing that 34 inmates at the prison tested positive for Covid-19.

Savana said that as of May 11, no more positive cases were found.

"We have completed the first tests, but we are still waiting for the results. In the next three to four days, medical staff will take samples and test again," he said.

Savana said the GDP has introduced strict health measures to prevent the spread of Covid-19 in prisons. The revised measures were completed with assistance from the International Committee of the Cambodian Red Cross and recognised by the World Health Organisation.

"We put the Covid-19 positive group in separate buildings and those suspected of having contracted the virus in other buildings. Then we enforce different measures for this classification. Both prison officials and detainees are not allowed to leave the prison," he said.

Savana said Prime Minister Hun Sen had already approved the vaccination programme for detainees. Once the vaccination is completed in Preah Sihanouk, it will begin in Siem Reap and Kandal provincial prisons.