File picture, Prisoners of Remand Yard, Golden Grove Prison, Arouca, play small goal football during air time.

Prisons Commissioner (Ag) Dennis Pulchan said a COVID Command Centre has been established at Golden Grove to gather and process all information required to aid in decision making, in an effort to effectively manage the containment of COVID-19 within the walls of the nation’s prisons.

Pulchan said daily reports from every station are mandatory and are to provide information inclusive of, but not limited to, staff attendance and status, enhanced prisoner observation, sanitization methods and frequencies.

Pulchan who heads the Centre, explained that situational awareness during this time is detrimental to how responses are coordinated. As such, outlets of communication were established specifically for the purpose of relating of COVID-19 situations.

Commissioner Pulchan added that all charges are constantly monitored for any signs and symptoms and testing have been performed on those displaying any signs and symptoms. To date, only two prisoners have tested positive and all the necessary protocols have been observed.

He advised that enhanced measures were implemented to minimize the spread of the virus.

Pulchan said since the introduction of community spread, members of staff have been advised against reporting for duty and to seek medical attention if feeling unwell.

Inevitably, he said, some officers have returned positive results while a number of them are under quarantine.

The Prisons Commissioner has reminded members of the public that the commissary remains functional for purchases and virtual visits continue.