First Canadian Inmates Contract Novel Coronavirus - Correctional Service

First Canadian Inmates Contract Novel Coronavirus - Correctional Service

TORONTO (UrduPoint News / Sputnik - 31st March, 2020) Two inmates at a correctional facility in the Canadian province of Quebec are the first prisoners to have contracted the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), the Correctional Service of Canada (CSC) said in a statement.

"Public health has confirmed that two inmates have tested positive for COVID-19 at Port-Cartier Institution in Quebec, a maximum-security facility," the statement released on Monday said. "These are the first confirmed cases related to inmates in a Federal correctional institution."

The two inmates have now been isolated and the correction facility has been locked down as a precautionary measure.

In addition to the two inmates, nine employees have also tested positive for the deadly disease.

In a statement made to Sputnik last week, a CSC spokesperson said the service is mulling options regarding releasing low-risk offenders amid the growing COVID-19 pandemic.

Civil liberties advocacy groups, most notably the Canadian Civil Liberties Association, have argued that closed quarter environments like prisons are breeding grounds for highly infectious diseases like COVID-19 and stressed the need for the release of low-risk offenders.

A number of US jurisdictions, including New York City and the state of New Jersey, have announced that they will release certain inmates serving time for non-violent offenses.

According to 2018 Canadian government data, there are 38,786 adults in provincial/territorial or federal custody on a given day.

As of Monday, Canada has registered a total of 6671 COVID-19 cases and 66 deaths related to the disease, according to the country's chief medical officer.