Pakistan: ICRC and PRCS distribute hygiene supplies at places of detention in Sindh to prevent outbreak of COVID-19
Karachi (4 May 2020): The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and the Pakistan Red Crescent Society (PRCS) are extending their support to the authorities in Sindh to help strengthen preventative measures against the spread of COVID-19 in prisons.
The distribution includes 52,584 pieces of body soaps, 145 litres of bleach and 67 kg of chlorine which was delivered at Central Prison Karachi. The second supply of 60,000 surgical masks, 53 no-touch thermometers and plenty of N-95 Masks will also be delivered soon. Moreover, Information, Education and Communication (IEC) material in different languages is also provided to sensitize detainees, prison staff and visitors on the preventive measures for COVID-19.
Speaking at the distribution ceremony, Inspector General Prisons Sindh, thanked the ICRC and the PRCS for their support. He said that the availability of large amounts of bleach and chlorine would help the cleaning staff to maintain proper daily disinfection inside and outside the cells. He added that the department has actively adopted precautionary measures to protect staff and inmates from the COVID-19 epidemic.
The ICRC protection coordinator, Anne Muller added, "Given the nature and the patterns of the spread of COVID-19 detainees and prison staff are also among those at high risk. For this reason, it remains essential that measures continue to be taken to prevent the spread of the virus in detention places."
The chairperson of PRCS-Sindh, Shahnaz S Hamid, while delivering the items to the IG Prison, stated that the Sindh Prisons were fortunate enough to manage the coronavirus away from the jails of Sindh. She appreciated the efforts of IG Prison Nusrat Mangan for his proactive actions. "We praise the prison department for having measures to prevent COVID-19 from spreading into the prisons," she said.
She emphasized that family contact is a vital emotional and psychological support for detainees. COVID-19 related restrictions have made family visits more difficult. Hamid also appreciated the jail management for starting the facility of connecting the families of the detainees through telephone calls in jails which is a great psychological support for detainees.