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COVID-19: Correctional service partners UNODC to prevent spread in custodial centres

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The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) has partnered the National Correctional Service to inform inmates and staff on how to stay safe, as well as provide basic protective and preventive equipment and supplies, including gloves, face masks, sanitiser, dispensers and infrared thermometers.

The items, according to a statement by the Outreach and Communications Officer, UNODC, Nigeria Sylvester Tunde Atere, were procured with the support of the European Union through the ‘Response to drugs and related organised crime in Nigeria’ Project and in collaboration with other UN agencies, including UNICEF and UNAIDS.

He said: “While there have been no reported cases of COVID-19 in the 244 custodial centres in Nigeria, reports from across the globe show that once the virus has gained access to prisons, it is extremely hard to control further spread. Prison overcrowding and the poorer health profile of inmates make people livening in prisons significantly more susceptible to contract the virus and to suffer severe symptoms, if infected. Stringent preventative action is thus critical.”

Receiving the equipment on behalf of the Nigerian Correctional Service, the Comptroller General, Ja’afaru Ahmed, expressed “appreciation to the UNODC and the EU for the assistance they have been rendering to the Service,” pledging that the “items would be judicially used.”

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