At least 11 out of 21 pardoned inmates at Chitipa Prison have tested positive for the novel Coronavirus.

According to Chitipa district health social services officer Ted Bandawe all the patients are asymptomatic.

Health workers from the district have since advised them to self-isolate in their homes for the next 10 days.

The patients have also been advised to contact health workers if they need medical assistance.

Bandawe, however, said it was expected that some prisoners would test positive considering the conditions and the environment of the prison where social distancing cannot be observed and transmission of the pandemic is high.

He has since asked the community in Chitipa to accept the people who have been pardoned and to ensure that they are following measures so that the virus should not spread to other persons.

Chitipa Prison public relations officer Sergeant Priscilla Moyo said in interview that the pardoned prisoners have been advised to show their respective chiefs their medical reports which indicate that they are positive and for them to be self-quarantined.

On the presidential pardon by President Lazarus Chakwera, Moyo said it has reduced the number of prisoners at the prison which will help protect prison officers and prisoners.

At Chitipa Prison, 21 prisoners have been pardoned and at the moment the prison is accommodating 135 prisoners.

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