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First British prisoner dies of Covid-19

AN 84-year-old man has become the first British prisoner to die after contracting Covid-19, it was revealed today. 

The inmate at HMP Littlehey, a category C male sex offenders’ prison in Cambridgeshire, died in hospital on Sunday.

He reportedly had underlying health issues.

The death follows the release of figures from the Ministry of Justice showing the number of confirmed cases of coronavirus among prisoners had risen to 19 across 10 jails as of 1pm on Wednesday.

Four prison staff have also tested positive for the virus. 

Prison officers’ union POA general secretary Steve Gillan told the Morning Star: “Covid-19 isn’t just a challenge in our communities. It is a major challenge in our prisons and our members, who are key workers, are working in unprecedented times to keep our prisons safe — not just for staff but those in our care.” 

Mr Gillan had suggested earlier this month that prisoners could be let out on temporary release, as seen in Iran, in order to prevent an outbreak of Covid-19 behind bars. 

The Prison Service said today that jails are well prepared to take immediate action in response to suspected cases, including the isolation of individuals where necessary.

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