In an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Kaduna, the lawyers said inmates should have comprehensive awareness of COVID-19, its prevention and strategies to avoid it.
According to him, the state governments should work with stakeholders, especially the health personnel to educate and enlighten the inmates on proactive measures against the coronavirus pandemic.
“It is crucial that state governments develop contingency plans in close cooperation with the management of the correctional centres to contain, prevent and deal with the spread of covid-19 in the centres.
“The inmates should be urged to comply with all the preventive measures to keep away the virus from spreading in the correctional centres,” he said.
Usman further said it was vital that the state governments prioritise the health and safety of the centre’s officials and inmates by distributing personal protective supplies such as soap, hand sanitisers and tissues for them to always use.
He also called on the state government to restrict visitors to the Correctional centres as part of moves to curtail the spread of the virus.
Also speaking, Michael Elijah said inmates and correction officers should be educated and enlighten about the preventive measures of covid-19.
Elijah stated that covid-19, like other infectious diseases, poses a higher risk to populations that live in close proximity to each other.
“This means everyone in the correctional centres is at risk of contracting the virus, including the inmates and correction officers,’’ he said.
The lawyer said that inmates are crammed into each room and one could imagine if one person has the virus, there was a possibility of 30-40 people having it and this would aid the quick spread of the virus within a week or two.
He advised state governments to, as part of measures to curb the spread of the virus, sterilisee correctional centres.
On his part, Moses Inuwa said covid-19 risk would be particularly acute in places of detention, such as prisons and jails where the virus could spread rapidly, especially if access to health care was poor.
He said the state governments have an obligation to ensure medical care for those in correctional centres, at least equivalent to that available to the general public.
Inuwa said the inmates should be sensitised and information about covid-19 should be accessible and available in multiple languages, including for those with low or no literacy.
He said that governments should ensure that the information they provide to the inmates about Covid-19 was accurate, timely, and consistent with human rights principles.
According to him, government should also provide appropriate hygiene training and supplies and ensure that all areas susceptible to harboring the virus and accessible to inmates, correction officers and visitors, are disinfected regularly.
Inuwa added that inmates and the officials should be enlighten on how to maintain a high level of personal hygiene with a view to limiting the spread of the virus within the confined environment.(NAN)