JOHANNESBURG – The government of Sierra Leone has announced that a remand centre inmate has tested positive for coronavirus (Covid-19) and has been labelled as case 90.

According to the presidency, the inmate, who was received from the East End police station, attended court sittings on April 17 at court number 6 before a magistrate and was received at the remand centre, Pademba Road Correctional Centre, the same day.

“He reported sick on April 20 and was subsequently admitted at the male correctional centre hospital. During his admission he confessed that he escaped from a quarantine centre at Cow Yard, Guard Street, Freetown. He was referred to 34 Hospital and later to Connaught Hospital on April. On Sunday, April 26, he was confirmed positive and is now case 90.

“In view of the above the chief justice in consultation with the inspector-general of police and the director-general of the Sierra Leone correctional centre hereby take the following measures: all inmates at the Freetown male reintegration centre (the isolation and observation unit) at special court be transferred to the male correctional centre at Pademba Road.”

The presidency has also ordered that all inmates at the remand section at Pademba Road and the correctional hospital be relocated with immediate effect to the isolation and observation unit at a special court as a quarantine measure.

Inmates from the correctional hospital will be transferred or treated separately from the other inmates.

“The church building at Pademba Road will be temporarily used as a medical referral centre for inmates at the male correctional centre. The current remand centre at Pademba Road is being fumigated and it is currently out of use. As a result of the above, it is hereby announced that with immediate effect, there is cessation of all court activities in the magistrates’ courts nationwide for one month effective April 28 to prevent movement of possibly infected persons from police stations to court and court to prisons,” said the presidency.

In addition, all other civil or criminal cases in magistrates’ courts are likewise postponed for a month effective as of April 28 and the police are ready to give police bail as far as possible for new offenders and to hold serious offenders without bail where necessary.

“The civil high court which was scheduled to commence work from May 11 hereby postponed to June 10. The special criminal sessions which was scheduled to start on May 8 is hereby postponed to May 28.”

African News Agency 

By Siphumelele Khumalo