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Belize Central Prison institutes 21-day lockdown as COVID-19 precaution

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Posted: Wednesday, October 14, 2020. 1:57 pm CST.

By BBN Staff: The Belize Central Prison has initiated a 21-day lockdown protocol, in an effort to contain the spread of COVID-19 among inmates and staff.

Virgilio Murillo, Chief Executive Officer of the Kolbe Foundation, the company that runs the prison, said that the lockdown extends beyond just keeping the public from coming to the prison, but that inmates from one building cannot enter another during this time.

Murillo said that the prison currently has 13 confirmed cases of COVID-19 (eight males and five females), which has prompted the prison to institute the lockdown to keep the situation from getting worse.

“We’re hoping that after the 21 days, or even before the 21 days if all goes well, that we should be able to lift the lockdown,” Murillo said. “The lockdown is really to protect them because if COVID gets into the prison anymore, it can be devastating.”

Murillo noted that the riot which broke out yesterday was to a great extent was due to a number of inmates who were unhappy with the lockdown. That riot ended with several prison officers being injured, one even suffering from multiple head trauma and a potentially fractured nose, as well as one prisoner dying after being shot in the height of the violent clash with authorities.

Police and the Belize Defense Force had to be called to the scene to help get the situation under control.

 

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