Egypt: Apparent Covid-19 Outbreaks in Prisons

Source: Human Rights Watch

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Several Egyptian prisons and police stations have had suspected Covid-19 outbreaks in recent weeks amid a strict official information blackout, Human Rights Watch said today.

Accounts by witnesses to Human Rights Watch, leaked letters from two prisons, as well as credible reports by local rights groups and media indicate that at least 14 prisoners and detainees have died, most likely from Covid-19 complications, in 10 detention facilities as of July 15. Even though scores of prisoners and detainees, at a minimum, have shown mild to severe Covid-19 symptoms, prisons had insufficient medical care and virtually no access to testing for the virus or symptom screening. The authorities have released about 13,000 prisoners since late February, but that number is insufficient to ease overcrowding in congested prisons and jails.

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