ADMINISTRATIVE INSTRUCTION NO.4/2020 CORONA VIRUS DISEASE (COVID 19) CONTROL MEASURES
All Heads of Departments
All Heads of Sections
All Regional Prisons Commanders
The Commandant, Prisons Academy & Training School
All District Prisons Commanders
All Officers in Charge
You are all aware that the world has been hit by a highly infectious pandemic known as COVID – 19 caused by a coronavirus called SARS-CoV-2, a virus closely related to the SARS virus.
You are also aware that Uganda has registered a number of cases of this disease.
Any occurrence of cases inside the prison will be catastrophic considering the prime conditions that prevail.
This Administrative Instruction, therefore, serves to bring to your attention how it is spread, it’s symptoms and to guide the establishment of responses to absolutely prevent any circumstance that would further compromise the vulnerability of the prison environment.
How is COVID- 19 spread?
Person to person spread is via respiratory droplets produced from the airways during coughing and sneezing. The virus can survive on surfaces for several hours. Study in China found no vertical spread. The time from exposure to onset of symptoms is between 2 and 14 days.
Signs and symptoms include fever, cough, difficulty in breathing, sneezing and flue like symptoms. Cases can progress to pneumonia, multi organ failure and death in the most vulnerable individuals. The high congestion, high turn-over of prisoners, hygiene challenges and interaction with the outside community, increases the risk of exposure in the prison environment.
In consideration of the directives from H.E. the President of the Republic of Uganda, WHO and the Ministry of Health guidelines, you are hereby directed as follows;
Institute Regional COVID-19 Preparedness and Response Task Forces chaired by RPCs comprising of DPCs, OCs, Regional Health Coordinators and Regional Rehabilitation and Re-integration officers.
Establish a COVID-19 Preparedness and Response Task Force at every station chaired by the OC and composed of representatives of Health and welfare, In-charge Boma, Court Clerk, Receptionist, Station Orderly, In-charge Barracks etc.
Ensure availability and use of soap and water for frequent hand washing at all entry points including in the barracks.
Suspend all prison visitations and restrict movement of prisoners as well as staff and their relatives outside the barracks.
All prison admissions must be isolated on arrival at the prison until COVID-19 symptom screening has been conducted within 24 hours on arrival at the prison.
6. EEstablish a quarantine space for isolation of cases which meet the case definition for COVID – 19 and report immediately to the District Task Force and to CGP.
All RPCs, DPCs and OCs must be members of a District Task Force.
8. Ensure a high level of hygiene among prisoners, staff and staff quarters
Lastly, I will re-emphasis that you are directed to observe strict adherence to the Presidential directives as communicated from time to time.
All the responsible officers must ensure that this Administrative Instruction is understood by all and must be complied with.
I expect the recipients of this Administrative Instruction to acknowledge receipt in writing to the Commissioner General of Prisons.
Can. Dr. J.O.R. Byabashaija
COMMISSIONER GENERAL OF PRISONS