TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - Chief of the Papuan Human Rights Lawyers Association, Gustaf Rudolf Kawer, reported that dozens of inmates in the Jayapura Precinct detention center are now suspected to have been infected with COVID-19, due to the lack of isolation procedures for suspected COVID-19 positive inmates.
"The latest information is about 60 people, swab tested," Gustaf said when contacted, on Friday, May 29, 2020.
Gustaf revealed that the potential COVID-19 outbreak in the Jayapura Precinct detention center began in late May, with one inmate showing COVID-19 symptoms. Although the inmate had been treated, he was returned to the detention center soon after. “They said it was TBC,” said Gustaf.
After that point, the outbreak started to happen in the detention center, which houses about 90 inmates. Initially, 11 inmates were showing COVID-19 symptoms. The number then increased to 43, and again to more than 60 inmates.
According to Gustaf, the Jayapura police and the Papua COVID-19 Task Force have actually visited the detention center. Due to the detention center being over-occupied, the Police then relocated inmates to other detention centers in Jayapura. Admittedly, Gustaf fears that the relocation of inmates will instead spark a COVID-19 outbreak in other detention centers.
A spokesperson for the Papua COVID-19 Task Force, Silwanus Sumule, did not answer phone calls and messages sent by Tempo regarding this news. Likewise, Jayapura Police Chief Adj. Sr. Commissioner Gustav Urbinas, have not responded.
M ROSSENO AJI | Translator: DIO SUHENDA (Intern)