Commissioner: Preemptive action key in avoiding coronavirus cases within prisons

Commissioner of Prisons Ahmed Mohamedfulhu. (File Photo/Home Ministry)

Commissioner of Prisons Ahmed Mohamedfulhu, on Sunday, expressed relief over being able to avoid any case of the new coronavirus in any of the prisons managed by Maldives Correctional Service.

He made the remark in his video address on occasion of Eid al-Fitr being celebrated this Sunday.

Ahmed Mohamedfulhu said that with the emergence of coronavirus cases in Maldives in March, the biggest priority of Maldives Correctional Service had been to prevent cases within prisons.

He said the service had taken measured action early on, including switching its services to virtual platforms.

And when Male’ City identified its first case in mid-April prompting a lockdown on the Greater Male’ Region, all prisons were immediately put on alert, he said.

“It is of great relief to us, the detainees, the inmates, and their families that, as a result of all these action, and by the Grace of Allah, there has been no sign of this disease within any prison to date,” said Ahmed Mohamedfulhu.

He said that the success had been the result of the cooperation of multiple parties, especially the staff of Maldives Correctional Service.

He thanked all parties involved for their cooperation.

“It is a great sacrifice to spend the holy month of Ramadan away from family, restricted to the workplace. I say glad thanks to everyone assisted us. And I especially say sincere thanks to the officers of this service for their service in the prisons,” said Ahmed Mohamedfulhu.

Maldives Correctional Service manages four prisons; the Maafushi Prison, the Asseyri Prison in K. Hinmafushi, the Hulhumale’ Prison, and the Male’ Prison. Random samples have been taken from all four prisons to test for the coronavirus. The service has received the results on samples taken from all prisons except for Hulhumale’ Prison, all of which came back negative.

The service had suspended family visits after the first virus cases had been identified in resorts in March, and had disinfected the prisons. The decision to suspend family visits had flared up tensions within prisons, which had been quickly stamped out.