According to police sources, a prison riot in Freetown left two guards and five inmates dead on Wednesday, April 29. The riot reportedly took place in Pademba Road Prison after the Ministry of Justice announced that a detainee had been tested positive to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) on Monday, April 27. As of Thursday, April 30, detainees have been placed under health surveillance and additional security forces have been deployed to the prison.
Further riots are possible in the near term.
As of Thursday, April 30, there are 116 confirmed cases of COVID-19 nationwide, including five associated fatalities. Further international spread of the virus is to be expected in the near term.
Sierra Leone's prisons are dilapidated and usually overcrowded. NGOs have recently called on the government to release prisoners imprisoned for minor offences in order to combat the spread of COVID-19.
Individuals in Freetown are advised to monitor developments to the situation and adhere to instructions issued by local authorities.
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