Concerns are mounting both inside and outside of the walls of Her Majesty’s Prison (HMP) as National Security Minister Steadroy “Cutie” Benjamin confirmed that he has received reports, from prison officials, of an outbreak of chickenpox within the institution.
Benjamin said last week, the Superintendent of Prisons, Albert Wade informed him that there some suspected cases of the contagious disease among inmates.
“I’d been informed that there has been suspicion that there has been an outbreak of chickenpox in the prison. The superintendent spoke with me and I think the matter is being addressed at the moment by him, and appropriate measures are being taken,” Benjamin said in an interview.
“He indicated to me that some prisoners reported spots on their skin. My understanding from the doctors with whom I spoke is that this is a situation in which you try to prevent physical contact.”
However, the prison boss did not indicate to the minister whether or not prison officers had also been affected by chickenpox.
Sources close to HMP told OBSERVER media, yesterday, that there were 18 confirmed cases of inmates showing signs of contracting the Varicella-zoster virus.
“The Ministry of Health needs to step in,” the source, who did not wish to be named, said.
“We had two and then every day more (inmates) get infected because they are not properly quarantined. They are in the chapel but they roam all over. We had 13 cases on Tuesday.”