Brazil: COVID-19 breeds fear in overcrowded jails

IANS
Thursday, 3 September 2020

Covid-19 is rapidly spreading across Brazil's prison system and reformatories, with almost 33,000 inmates testing positive

Covid-19 is rapidly spreading across Brazil's prison system and reformatories, with almost 33,000 inmates testing positive for the virus, according to an official report.

The report released on Wednesday by the National Council of Justice said that the prison system registered a total of 29,403 cases with 183 deaths, up by a 50.6 per cent from a month ago, Xinhua news agency reported.

According to the report, reformatories witnessed a 33.9 per cent rise with 3,593 confirmed cases. The first Covid-19 case among the inmates was confirmed in a Rio de Janeiro prison in April. According to official data, Brazil has the third biggest prison population in the world, with more than 773,000 inmates.

The surge of cases in prisons is due to its overcrowded condition, which prevents the implementation of social distancing measures, said experts. A total of 3,997,865 cases have so far been reported nationwide with 123,780 deaths, said the Ministry of Health on Wednesday. Brazil currently accounts for the second highest number of coronavirus cases and deaths, just after the US.

As of Thursday, the total number of cases in the country stood at 3,997,865, while the death toll increased to 123,780. It is also the country with the maximum amount of infections and fatalities in Latin America.

Sao Paulo, the most populated state in the country and the epicentre of the pandemic, has registered over 826,000 confirmed cases and 30,673 deaths, followed by Bahia, Rio de Janeiro, Minas Gerais and Ceara.

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