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Social distancing is impossible in packed cells, water stations may be inadequate to address the need for frequent hand washing, and hygiene items such as soap and sanitizers require funds that may or may not be available. In short, the burden being put on prison authorities to ensure that detainees and prison staff stay safe and well is huge.
It is for this reason that the ICRC – with its long experience of visiting detention facilities across the world to ensure adequate conditions and treatment of detainees – has mobilized its teams of health, water and protection staff in countries across Africa, to support detention authorities put in place emergency measures to help prevent COVID-19 entering prisons and health facilities.
In Sudan, the ICRC is working closely with the Ministry of Interior's Prison and Reform Directorate to do the same.