Jamaica is training inmates in correctional facilities as Covid-19 medical orderlies, a direct response from the Ministry of National Security to prevent the spread of the disease caused by the novel coronavirus to that population.
Junior Security Ministry minister, Senator Matthew Samuda revealed that the prisoners are trained to support medical staff across the country's 11 correctional facilities to carry out screenings, among other things.
Samuda explained that two well-behaved inmates are trained at each facility, with the larger prisons having three. He said: “So they know how the put on the masks properly, they know how to sanitise properly, and they know how to do temperature checks — basic things. They also know how to escort people to the isolation areas without exposing themselves and have been taught how to put on the PPE (personal protective equipment).
He added that the training was necessitated by the fact that medical personnel are not stationed at all the facilities daily, mentioning that the group visits when needed as staff is rotated between facilities.
He said, however, that isolation is the standard procedure once an inmate leaves a facility and does not necessarily mean direct exposure to the infectious disease.