Nearly 2 weeks ago, panic spread in Roumieh Prison following news of some inmates showing signs of a coronavirus (COVID-19) infection. Today, the confirmed number of cases in the prison is close to 400.
On Monday, the General Directorate of Internal Security Forces (ISF) issued a statement detailing the number of COVID-19 cases present in Beirut’s Roumieh Central Prison and Zahle Prison.
The ISF revealed an alarming number of infection cases in both prisons.
In Roumieh Prison, the 1,091 PCR tests that have been conducted so far revealed 377 positive cases. 5 cases remain in hospital while 6 inmates have been returned to prison after their health condition improved, the ISF said.
In Zahle Prison, on the other hand, the PCR tests conducted on all prisoners, which total 556, revealed 237 positive COVID-19 cases, in addition to 2 cases under treatment in hospital.
The ISF affirmed that the condition of all cases in both prisons is stable; the prisoners’ health is not endangered, and they are under follow-up by officers and doctors of the ISF and the World Health Organization.
Inmates in Roumieh Prison, Lebanon’s biggest and most overcrowded prison, recently began to riot after the virus infected both prisoners and guards.
The outbreak in the prison prompted a series of official calls for appropriate measures, including from the head of the Beirut Bar Association, Melhem Khalaf, and the president of the Lebanese Order of Physicians, Charaf Abou Charaf.
On his part, in light of the emergency, a couple of weeks ago, caretaker Health Minister Hamad Hasan said that he was coordinating with caretaker Interior Minister Mohammad Fehmi to take the necessary measures.