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NEWS

Short Update: COVID-19 outbreak in Paraguay's largest prison

FairTrialsAdmin - August 5, 2020 - COVID-19 Updates, Prison conditions

On 24 July, the Ministry of Justice announced that 5 prisoners were infected and 40 showed symptoms of COVID-19 in Tucambú prison, the largest and most crowded in Paraguay with 2,600 prisoners. About half of the detainees that showed symptoms were transferred to another prison where they remain isolated and in quarantine. Family visits had resumed earlier in July after a May suspension expired. That may have been the cause of the outbreak. 

Following the outbreak, justice officials suspended again family visits. Officials announced a plan to identify high risk prisoners and separate them to limit the size of the outbreak. So far 30 tests have been carried out and officials do not plan to test the entire prison population but rather to carry out a search of the most affected sections.  

The Vice Minister of Political crime said facemasks have been distributed to all prisoners. 

The majority of prisoners in Tucambú are there in pre-trial detention without a sentence. Paraguayan prisons are known to be overcrowded and a consistent image in Tucambú is of prisoners in overcrowded cells or sleeping on hallway floors. 

We publish information as it is reported to us. If you would like to make us aware of an inaccuracy or send us more information please email us at [email protected].  

If you are a journalist interested in this story, please telephone Fair Trials’ press department on +44 (0) 20 7822 2370 or +32 (0) 2 360 04 71.

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