Inmates riot in prison affected by coronavirus in the Dominican Republic

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Santo Domingo.– A group of prisoners mutinied this Thursday in the La Victoria prison, a major prison on the outskirts of Santo Domingo in which at least two deaths from coronavirus have been recorded.

The prisoners mutinied because “they are opposed” to being transferred to other penitentiary centers, a measure taken by the health authorities to try to contain the COVID-19 outbreak in the prison, According to Efe, the spokesperson for the Attorney General’s Office, Julieta Tejada.

The riot was contained by the authorities and the situation is “relatively calm”, according to the source, who at the moment lacked information on victims.

However, a hearse arrived at the penitentiary, located about 20 kilometers north of the Dominican capital, according to Efe.

After authorities have claimed that the riot has been brought under control, occasional gunshots could still be heard, as well as the noise of tear gas bombs from outside the prison.

The inmates who promoted the uprising “have already been isolated,” added the spokeswoman for the Office of the Attorney General, the body on which the General Directorate of Prisons reports.

La Victoria has about 8,500 inmates, a figure above its capacity, and is the first Dominican prison in which several cases of coronavirus have been registered.

This same Thursday, two prisoners tested positive in the rapid tests, while in 15 others, the test result is not irrefutable, which is why they are considered “indeterminate”.

As of Wednesday, the Ministry of Health had confirmed 25 infections in the prison, including two deaths, as well as 40 other undetermined cases.

The prison has been intervened by health authorities since last Saturday and several prisoners have been isolated and at least 50 have been transferred to newly built, but not yet opened, jails.

The Dominican Republic registers 2,349 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 118 deaths, as reported this Thursday by the Ministry of Public Health.

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