By  AUSTIN KARONGA in Harare

Prisoners queuing for Covid-19 vaccination.

THE Zimbabwe Prisons and Correctional Services (ZPCS) has taken its inoculation exercises to Harare Central Prison where hundreds of inmates were vaccinated against the deadly Covid-19 pandemic.   

This comes as the country is currently grappling with a third wave of the pandemic which by Wednesday had infected 91 120 people and killed 2 809 while 1 292 642 have been inoculated. 

With a limited number of inmates getting their jab daily, there was a hive of activity at the prison yesterday as the convicts jostled in the long-winding queue.   

ZPCS director of health services Evidence Gaka said the pandemic has not spared Zimbabwe’s prison population with 17 people having succumbed to the virulent pandemic across all the country’s prisons.  

A prisoner gets his Covid-19 jab under the watchful yes of police and prison guards.

“We have 2 754 confirmed cases in prisons as of July 20, 2021 and 1 846 have since recovered while 17 people have died. 

“Right now, we have 891 active cases country wide, the figure includes 760 officers, 1 457 inmates and 537 dependants, thus our spouses and children. 

“The active cases we have include 206 officers, 427 inmates and 258 dependents,” Gaka said. 

He added that Harare has the highest number of cases at 412, which is almost half of the active cases across the country’s prison system.  

Midlands currently has 75 active cases, Masvingo (32), Matabeleland North (16), Mashonaland East (63), Matabeleland South (56), Manicaland (61), Mash West (81), Mashonaland Central (14) and Bulawayo Metro has got 79 cases. 

“This has been our vaccination coverage so far which stands at 6 989 number of officers vaccinated, 4 003 inmates and 3 223 dependents and it’s an ongoing programme for the inmates,” Gaka added. 

ZPCS commissioner-general Moses Chihobvu said throughout the country, all inmates were yearning to get the vaccine to protect themselves from the deadly pandemic. 

“This is an ongoing programme which is being undertaken in all our prisons. We have seen overwhelming response from our inmates, you can see they all want to be vaccinated.  

“I’m sure this is the only way we can mitigate against the impact of Covid-19 especially in our prison wards, we want to keep our prisons free from diseases,” Chihobvu said. – Daily News