Latvia: no COVID-19 infection cases found in prisons so far

So far not a single COVID-19 infection case has been found in prisons in Latvia – neither among convicts nor among prison guards, said chief of Prison Administration (IeVP) Ilona Spure in an interview to Latvijas Radio.

According to her, every new convict, is put in a 14-day quarantine after arrival regardless of how they feel to make sure that person is not infected with COVID-19. Prison guards, on the other hand, have their temperature measures when they arrive at work. If the temperature is too high, the person is sent to their family doctor.

She says only law enforcement officers are allowed to meet in person with people put in prison, but even in such cases special rooms with a glass dividing wall are used.

IeVP chief admits the majority of convicts are responsible when it comes to restrictions imposed in relation to COVID-19, because they don’t want to be at risk. It appears there is a much lower risk of getting COVID-19 in prison than it is in the outside world, admits IeVP chief.

At the same time, she admits IeVP has a clear action plan for the situation if an infected person ends up in prison. «We have prepared appropriate rooms – both in Olaine prison hospital and in other prisons – wards with isolated rooms for people with confirmed infection,» said Spure.

As previously reported, because of COVID-19 pandemic Latvia has declared a state of emergency, as well as a number of restrictions to reduce the spread of the virus.