onsdag 11. mars 2020

Cracks in the System: COVID-19 in Chinese Prisons

On February 26, China’s Ministry of Justice released the second batch of data on COVID-19 outbreaks in the country’s prison system. As of February 25, there were 555 confirmed infections in five prisons of three provinces — Hubei, Shandong, and Zhejiang — up from 512 confirmed cases reported on February 21 when the Ministry of Justice made its first announcement on COVID-19 outbreaks in China’s prisons. Four of those infected were in critical condition. Among the five prisons, the Wuhan Women’s Prison had the greatest number of infections. According to the February 26 announcement, there have been no death among infected inmates and no outbreaks have been reported in any other Chinese prisons.

During the press conference, the Ministry of Justice’s deputy head, Xiong Xuanguo, admitted shortcomings in the prison system’s efforts at disease control. Moreover, Xiong confirmed that some prison officers who came into contact with individuals from affected areas in Hubei did not truthfully report their contact history, leading to incomplete quarantines.