National Security Minister Marvin Dames has shot down reports of a COVID-19 outbreak at the Bahamas Department of Corrections.
However, Dames confirmed on Monday that an inmate contracted the highly contagious disease while at Princess Margaret Hospital.
According to Dames, the inmate was at the hospital receiving treatment for an undisclosed condition. He said the inmate was exposed to the novel coronavirus while on a ward at the hospital.
The inmate remains in hospital, Dames said.
Dames told The Nassau Guardian, “The prison is COVID-19-free.”
He credited this to the correctional facility using the “strictest guidelines” in quarantining new admissions.
Dames said that concerns of an outbreak at the prison were understandable, given “that outbreaks have occurred in prisons around the world”.
He said the prison intends to keep it COVID-19-free.
“We are on a daily basis monitoring and taking precautions with staff and inmates,” he said.
Relatives of inmates fear that an outbreak at the notoriously overcrowded facility would be catastrophic.
They’re concerned that inmates are crammed into tiny cells without access to running water and flushing toilets.