Acting Commissioner of Prison, John Mitchell has denied widespread reports circulating on the island that an inmate at the Richmond Hill prison has tested positive for the deadly coronavirus.
Speaking to THE NEW TODAY on Wednesday, Commissioner Mitchell who holds the substantive post of Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) in the Royal Grenada Police Force (RGPF) said he had heard the rumours himself but dismissed it.
This is nonsense, he said, adding that, “There isn’t any confirmed case at present – the fact is there is none”.
According to ASP Mitchell, what happened is that during the national contact tracing that is ongoing in the country, a couple prison officers were identified as being exposed to the virus like so many other Grenadians.
He said that these officers are currently in quarantine and were required to do the usual PCR test to determine their status.
He added that all the tests came back negative but the officers are still in quarantine as they will have to do another “follow-up test from the Ministry of Health”.
ASP Mitchell disclosed that some prison inmates had been in contact with these officers at the institution before prison officials became aware of the status of some of the staff members and immediate action had to be taken.
“….We took the step and put them (prisoners) under quarantine and we did a test with those folks and those tests came back negative,” he said.
According to the island’s Prison Chief, the rapid test method was first used on the prisoners and it was followed up with the more reliable PCR test to ensure that no one is infected with the virus at the prison.
Commissioner Mitchell expressed disappointment with the online newspaper that put out the report that one prison inmate had been infected with Covid-19.
He said those persons behind the article should realise that they are not just hurting the prison but the image of Grenada.
Meanwhile, Superintendent of Police Vannie Curwen called THE NEW TODAY Wednesday morning to report that a Corporal of Police who tested positive for Covid-19 through a rapid test has now tested negative through the PCR.
The officer is attached to the Victoria Police Station but is living in a village in the St. Andrew area.
Supt Curwen also brushed aside reports circulating in some quarters in the country that RGPF is doing a cover-up with police officers and their Covid-19 status.
He re-iterated a statement put out by the police high command earlier in the week that there is no one in the force who had contracted the disease based on the number of PCR tests conducted on several officers.
A total of 109 persons have tested positive for Covid-19 in Grenada since the virus was first detected on the island in March.