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Prison disallows visits as of Saturday in preparation for COVID-19

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Posted: Wednesday, March 18, 2020. 12:42 pm CST.

By Aaron Humes:  The Kolbe Foundation-managed Belize Central Prison at Hattieville is girding up to prevent the possibility of novel coronavirus spreading among the more than 1,100 prisoners in its care.

Effective Saturday, March 21, according to prison CEO, Virgilio Murillo, whom we spoke with this afternoon, visits to prisoners by families and attorneys among others are cancelled.

The family day scheduled for that date is also canceled.

Murillo says families can leave cash on behalf of prisoners so that they can continue to buy and otherwise conduct prison-related business.

According to Murillo the risk of the spread of coronavirus comes mostly from the outside.

Thus, visitors to the prison today and Friday are asked to use the special hand-washing basins set up with soap and water.

An isolated area has been set up for any incoming prisoner who shows symptoms of COVID-19 and testing will be available.

If an outbreak begins, inmates who somehow catch the virus will be quarantined in one of the prison’s unused buildings.

A press release will be issued later today with further details.
Murillo emphasizes that activities at the prison will continue as normal and that families can stl contact prisoners by telephone as per normal.


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