In St. Vincent and the Grenadines, there have been no confirmed COVID-19 cases in prisons. However, with an outbreak of COVID-19, the lives of approximately 450 prisoners, 140 prison staff, and the general public will be at risk: potentially placing tremendous strain on the public health system.
On Wednesday, 20 May, 2020 the CARICOM Implementation Agency for Crime and Security (IMPACS) with the generous support of the British High Commission, Port of Spain, through the British Government’s Conflict, Stability and Security Fund (CSSF), donated basic sanitation supplies to the St. Vincent and the Grenadines Prison Service to help minimise the risk of infection and transmission of COVID-19 in prisons.
The sanitary supplies including infrared thermometers, as well as cleaning products such as disinfectant, liquid soap, bleach, hand sanitizers and other necessary supplies were handed over to Mr. Brenton Charles, Superintendent of Prisons, St. Vincent and the Grenadines at the Argyle International Airport (AIA). Mr. Steve Moore, Resident British Commissioner, St. Vincent and the Grenadines and Lt. Col. Michael Jones, Executive Director (Ag), CARICOM IMPACS were at the AIA to witness the delivery.
The supplies provided are in accordance with guidelines issued by the World Health Organization (WHO) for the prevention and control of the pandemic in prisons (WHO 2020).
CARICOM IMPACS’ and the United Kingdom’s efforts to prevent COVID-19 minfections in prisons will continue next week with donations of similar basic sanitation supplies to eleven (11) other CARICOM Member States.
CARICOM IMPACS has also partnered with the Regional Security System (RSS), which continues to play a key role in providing airlift and logistical support for the distribution of supplies to some Member States. The donation of these supplies will encourage and assist with the accelerated adoption of WHO guidelines for prisons and other places of detention.