COVID-19 scare hits Kondengui prison as four inmates die, several evacuated

An inmate whose name MMI got as Innocent has passed away. Innocent, another inmate says died after he spent “almost two weeks lying in the health centre in prison.”

The Anglophone from Sabga in the North West region is one of four inmates to die in the facility within 24 hours, a phenomenon other inmates say is strange and scary.

“The most surprising thing is they hurriedly took seven prisoners to an outside hospital this (Sunday) morning” an inmate revealed. “This is strange because firstly its Sunday and secondly before taking somebody outside for treatment is a lengthy procedure, but all protocols were broken to get them to an outside hospital” he explained.

The action of officials and the lack of any explanation has left inmates worried as they fear the evacuated inmates and those dead may all be victims of the coronavirus.

Prison administration officials have maintained silence on the issue, leaving everyone in the dark.

The Kondengui prison is one of Cameroon’s most dreaded detention facilities

Weeks back Human Rights Watch, HRW had called on authorities to facilitate the trial of inmates at the detention facility, many of whom are awaiting trial.

HRW in its latest reports has said the move was going to act as a measure to curb the potential spread of the virus in prison. Like many others in Cameroon, the Kondengui prison is known for overcrowding and poor living conditions of inmates.

In 2003, the US Department of State said the prison held a population of 9,530 in space meant for 2,000, a number that has significantly increased due to the three-year-long Anglophone crisis.

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