One in four inmates of Her Majesty’s Prison Dodds has tested positive for COVID-19, Minister of Health Lieutenant Colonel Jeffrey Bostic revealed Tuesday.
Of the 974 tests conducted Tuesday, 84 people had tested positive for COVID-19, with 67 of those being Dodds inmates, he said.
With an estimated 800 prisons at the St Philip prison, the latest figures mean that 294 prisoners have so far tested positive for COVID-19 with other results still pending.
But while Lt. Col. Bostic acknowledged that the situation was serious, he said everything was being done to ensure it was brought under control.
He told journalists: “As far as I am concerned we are dealing with a national crisis, I don’t think we can get away from that. The numbers would certainly suggest and the surge that it is a national crisis, but I want to give the assurance that it is a national crisis that we are still able to manage.
“The capacity at HMP Dodds for isolation at the moment, we still have capacity at the prison. I can say also that we have been doing some work at the prison in order to make sure that we isolate those persons from the remainder of the prison and that is in progress.
“We have people there who are working with the authorities at the prison to ensure that we manage that process. We provided a public health officer who is there and there are also persons there from the Queen Elizabeth Hospital Isolation Facility that go daily and take care of these persons.
“It is a matter of managing the persons who are in isolation and giving them the best level of care that we can give them. But this is a situation that will have to be dealt with over time through the normal caregiving that has been done throughout the pandemic at Harrison’s Point Isolation Facility, at Blackman and Gollop on the occasions we have used there and the team that is working with those inmates, those patients.”
Lt. Col. Bostic said while the numbers of infected persons were high they were not a lot of people who are “sick” or in “critical” condition.
He also said some patients were due to be discharged from isolation at HMP.
The minister said: “You will recognize that over the next few days that there will be inmates at the prison who will be discharged from isolation so that it is how it is going to be managed in one sense in that people will go in and people will come out of isolation. That is what happens at all isolation facilities.”
Speaking on the situation at the Psychiatric Hospital, Lt. Col. Bostic said while he could not provide details at the time, he confirmed that the mental institution had recorded cases of COVID-19.
He said those results were being processed today and as a result, he would not be able to give any figures at this stage.
Lt. Col. Bostic assured though that for the time being there was no reason to worry about any major outbreak at the Black Rock hospital.