Prisoners unite to remove Covid-19 from largest jail in Latin America

By Fernando Gimeno

Lima, Jun 22 (efe-epa).- Thousands of convicts joined together to eradicate Covid-19 from one of Latin America’s biggest and most overcrowded jails.

Around 9,300 inmates at Peru’s Lurigancho prison armed themselves with infrared thermometers, fumigators and homemade masks to tackle the outbreak.

The facility is only designed to house 2,500 prisoners and was hit by the contagion in April which two months later appears to have been brought under control.

Cases have been decreasing and calm has been restored in the cells and corridors after the pandemic sparked riots in prisons across the country.

Nationally more than 2,600 inmates have been infected and almost 250 have died, with around 50 still being treated in hospital and 1,500 recoveries.

There have been 31 deaths at Lurigancho, which currently houses 9,322 prisoners, almost 10 percent of the total number in Peru.

Around 330 tests have been carried out at the prison, of which almost 160 were positive.

Doctor Jorge Cuzquén, head of health for prisons in the region, says he suspects the real number of cases was much higher.

“The situation became really critical,” he tells Efe.

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