Unlike the previous years, inmates, staff, family members and friends to the prisoners will not be holding joint animal slaughtering and other festive traditions allowed in prisons this year, the Uganda Prisons Service Spokesperson Frank Baine has said.
Prisons staff, as provided for by the UPS guidelines, have always, together with the inmates, jointly slaughtered animals and celebrated Christmas Day alongside the loved ones of the prisoners who are granted a visit to the prison facilities for the occasion.
The arrangement has been suspended due to the increasing numbers of Covid-19 infections in the prisons around the country.
Speaking to the press at Uganda Media Centre on Monday, Baine said that 2020 celebrations will not be held as it has been the norm.
“Yes, staff will get the meals, meat for that matter, but we advise them not to jointly gather for the slaughtering. They should stay at home and wait for meat to be delivered to them,” he said.
Baine also noted that prisons are still closed to all visitors until a solution to curb the virus is availed.
“Prisons are still out of bounds to outsiders, even ordinary visitors are not allowed. Covid-19 is real, we have lost many important people and we wouldn’t want to risk other lives,” he added.
He further revealed that external religious visitors will not access prisons for the Christmas prayer sessions.
“Prayers shall be conducted by those religious leaders within prisons,” Baine said.
He also revealed that in all prisons across the country, out of the registered 948 cases of Covid-19, 873 are inmates, 65 staff and 10 family members of the staff.
“Out of the total 948 cases, 931 have recovered and 17 are active cases in Jinja treatment centre. I continue to urge the public to always observe the standard operating procedures at all times,” Baine noted.