Malawi Prison Service (MPS) has suspended admission of new remandees to all prisons and detaining new remandees in the four designated isolation centers as cases of Covid-19 continue to surge in the country.

The service has set aside four prisons in all the country’s regions as isolation centers, these centers are Zomba Prison (female section), Maula Prison (female section), Mzimba Prison (female section) and Thyolo Prison.

Meanwhile, 2 cases of coronavirus have been confirmed in the country’s prisons in which a prison officers and an inmate have tested positive for covid-19 at Mzimba and Chichiri Prisons.

Civils Society Organizations (CSOs) have however commend the move by Malawi Prison Service and have asked the Malawi Police and Judiciary to support the initiative as one way containing the spread of the virus in prisons.

“We appeal to the Judiciary and the Malawi Police Service to support the initiative by the Malawi Prison Service and ensure that no person is remanded into custody unless the interests of justice so requires, as there are no other alternative means of dealing with the person,” CSOs said.

As one way of decongesting prisons, the CSOs have also appealed to government to ensure that all detainees with who are particularly vulnerable, including older persons with co-morbidities, pregnant women and women with children are immediately released.

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