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Helderstroom Correctional Centre under lockdown as 87 inmates test positive

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The Department of Correctional Services (DCS) placed the Helderstroom Maximum Centre in Caledon, Western Cape, under lockdown, as it moves to contain any further spread of COVID-19 infections. This move comes after 87 inmates tested positive for COVID-19. A further five officials also tested positive. 

On Thursday 7 January Health Minister Zweli Mkhize said there had been 21 000 new infections in the last 24 hours. He also reported that there were more than 40 000 active cases in the Western Cape. Read the full update here. 

Based on a surge in infections, the National coronavirus Command Council (NCCC) met earlier this week. President Cyril Ramaphosa is, therefore, expected to address the nation on a way forward in the coming days.

HELDESTROOM LOCKDOWN: INMATE ISOLATION AND QUARANTINE UNDERWAY 

Spokesperson for the Department of Correctional Services Singabakho Nxumalo said it is critical at this stage to look at containment and treatment measures in order to prevent other officials and inmates from being exposed to the virus. 

“Whilst the process of tracking and tracing the index case(s) is underway, the Department has isolated the confirmed positive cases and quarantined the presumptive cases,” said Nxumalo.  

“Although only the Maximum Centre, Helderstroom, is affected at this stage, DCS is leaving nothing to chance and the Medium Centre is being monitored closely. Infection Prevention Control (IPC) measures are being ramped up at all management areas across the country with specific directives to push for the continued sanitization of reception areas, cells, offices, vehicles and ablution facilities,” added Nxumalo. 

DEPARTMENT HAS SUFFICIENT SUPPLY OF PPE 

The DCS said it recognises the importance of keeping and maintaining correctional facilities COVID-19 free and will continue to invest a larger part of its disaster management planning on intensifying preventative measures. 

“This also talks to daily reporting on all preventative and containment activities as well as incidences within the correctional value chain, especially at coalface and in Departmental offices, to the DCS National Operations Centre (NOC),” said Nxumalo. 

It’s COVID-19 strategy will continue to be applied, paying attention to prevention measures, containment and treatment so that they may save lives and better protect every individual within its premises. 

“The Department has sufficient supply of Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs) and the stock levels are being monitored daily,” said Nxumalo.  

“Behavioural change and adaptation by officials, inmates and those residing within our premises will go a long way in the prevention of new infections,” added Nxumalo.  

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Buhari: Why Bishop Kukah is under attack – Catholic director, Achi

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Rev. Fr. Benjamin Achi says Bishop Hassan Kukah is being attacked for his comments on President Muhammadu Buhari because he is a Christian leader.

Kukah had accused the Nigerian leader of nepotism, adding that if a non-Nothern Muslim acted like Buhari, there could have been a coup or war.

Achi, the Communications Director, Enugu Catholic Diocese, said those castigating him were yet to point out the lies in Kukah’s Christmas homily.

He advised religious leaders not to be afraid but factual in criticising the government and officials.

Achi presented his position Thursday in Enugu while reacting to the quit notice the Muslim Solidarity Forum issued to Kukah to leave Sokoto.

The priest wondered why the Muslim group resorted to threat when all Kukah said about the state of the nation were facts.

“Those who have been crying foul about his message have not been able to say, ‘you said this and this and they are not true’. Their problem is why this person should be speaking from his own position because he is a Christian leader.

“But we are not talking about religion here. We are talking about good governance. We are talking about representing the goals, the aspirations and the interests of the people”, NAN quoted him as saying.

The diocesan director reminded leaders of their obligation to be the voice of the people when things are not going well.

Achi insisted that Kukah had the constitutional right to air his opinion on matters affecting the people.

The cleric added that for many years, the Bishop has consistently commented on issues of public interest.

Buhari: Why Bishop Kukah is under attack – Catholic director, Achi

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NMS to Open Newly Built Hospitals in 4 Nairobi Estates

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  • The Nairobi Metropolitan Services (NMS) under General Mohamed Badi will open the first batch of the newly built hospitals in Nairobi estates in late January 2021. 

    NMS said that the first four of the 24 hospitals it constructed will be ready for use in Uthiru, Kiamaiko, Ushirika and Soweto-Kayole.

    The facilities are both Level 2 and Level 3 hospitals. 

    “Contractors are installing equipment. They will be ready next week. 

    An image of Terminus
    Hospital beds outside the Nairobi Green Park terminus dispensary.
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    “We are finalising on the projects,” NMS Director of Health Services Dr Josephine Kibaru-Mbae said. 

    NMS further recruited 600 nurses who will be deployed to the 24 facilities which Badi hope will all be unveiled in 2021.

    The newly recruited health professionals and hospitals will clear the backlog of unattended patients in the county hospitals and the country’s referral Kenyatta National Hospital (KNH). 

    “The nurses presented their documents for verification,  subsequent issuance of appointment letters,” NMS added on its website.

    NMS also opened a dispensary at Green Park Terminus at Nairobi Railways. Beds, heart rate monitors and sanitisers were installed to curb the spread of Covid-19 pandemic.

    The terminus will also include police post, restaurants, supermarket, modern ablution block, restrooms for motorists and commuters.

    Former Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko handed over health functions to the NMS in February 2020. President Uhuru Kenyatta said that the agency would ensure his Big 4 Agenda, Universal Health Care, was achieved. 

    An image of Dispensary
    A woman having her temperature checked at the Nairobi Green Park terminus dispensary.
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