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An inmate in the national prison is reportedly showing signs of Covid-19 and is being kept in isolation, sources have told Observer. He is said to have called the virus hotline for help.

A nurse who visited the institution on March 28 has since tested positive for the coronavirus, National Security Minister Steadroy Benjamin has confirmed.

However, he categorically denied that any inmate had contracted the illness, shown any symptoms or was under quarantine.

The nurse “saw no one at all that day,” Minister Benjamin said. “She went there to check to see whether or not anyone wanted to be treated or needed medication. There is no sign of any virus there at all.”

He added that the nurse’s last visit exceeds Covid-19’s 14-day incubation period.

Fears have abounded for the safety of prison inmates since the outbreak of the pandemic. Prisons are notorious incubators of infections and the institution has long suffered from overcrowding. There are said to currently be in excess of 260 prisoners being held at the facility intended for 150.

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