Photo: Antara

Following the early release granted to 38,822 inmates as of 20 April, Indonesia took another preventive action by allowing online visitor as well as providing hygiene kits to protect the remaining prisoners and prison staff from the deadly coronavirus.
Since visitor are not allowed to enter the prison area, online visit is provided as prisoner has a right to communicate.
“Visitors are not allowed to enter the facility at the moment,” said the Head of Salemba detention in Central Jakarta, Renharet Ginting to Jakarta Post on its video that was today (27 April).
“But we are maintaining the prisoners’ right to communicate by holding online visits. We provide a computer and a laptop so the prisoners can interact with their families virtually”
Previously, it was reported that the local authorities have released about 18,000 inmates in a bid to stop the virus from rampaging its overcrowded system.
Now the early release has been granted to over 38,000 inmates who are juvenile inmates and convicts of general crimes and have served for at least two-thirds of their sentences.
This policy seems to help to ease the prisons’ burden, but these facilities have a big job to do in maintaining the health of the remaining inmates, despite the limited space and resources.
Another way to protect the prisons from coronavirus spread is to make sure that the essential hygiene kits are available.
However, according to Mr Ginting, the prison is low on supply for facemask, vitamins, hand sanitizer, and other hygiene tools to keep everyone safe and healthy.
Responding to this, the International Committee of The Red Cross (ICRC) has stepped in to work with the authorities in distributing hygiene kits to the prisons in Jakarta.
“Prisons are very sensitive places because in prisons, it is not possible to implement physical or social distancing measures that is recommended at the moment, by definition,” said the ICRC Head of Delegation for Indonesia and Timor, Leste Alexandre Faite.
“In addition to these, most prisons in the world – not only in Indonesia – experience overcrowding. So, this is why we believe that prisons are a priority and the people in there are priority people to be taken care of. And this is why now we have started a response.“
ICRC was reported to have distributed hygiene kits to eight detention centers and one prison hospital in Jakarta to help to keep the prison staff and inmates healthy.
They provide hygiene items such as soap, detergent, disinfectant, sprayers, and liquid, gloves and facemask.
Next, they plan to provide it to other prisons across the nation.
As of today (27 April), 214 new cases were confirmed, bringing the total number of infections in Indonesia to 9,096. Meanwhile, 765 people have passed away and 1,151 people has recovered from the deadly coronavirus.

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