The State of Qatar on Wednesday rejected the Human Rights Watch’s report of an alleged Coronavirus outbreak in the Central Prison of Qatar. The government cited the report as false and claimed that such a report was based on unverified interviews and unfounded speculations.
“The Human Rights Watch account is based on unfounded rumors and speculation from a small number of unverified interviews, amplifying falsehoods and irresponsibly redirecting attention away from the ongoing health response,” the official statement read.
As per the Government Communication office, 12 confirmed cases of Coronavirus were found in the Central Prison. Upon finding, the prisoners were swiftly contained and were transferred to the secure on-site medical facility run by Hamad Medical Corporation where they received or continue to receive first-class medical assistance. Out of the two cases had reached the critical level who were then transferred to a designated off-site medical center where they received treatment and were transferred back to the Central Prison upon complete recovery.
As per the statement, the Public Health authorities have maintained measures to control the spread of the virus.
“Since mid-March, public health and security authorities have implemented strict control measures in the Central Prison to protect inmates and limit the spread of the virus. Inmates have undergone regular health check-ups and a proactive testing program has been carried out to monitor for new cases. Personal protective equipment such as gloves and masks have been distributed to all inmates, and personal and community spaces are sanitized regularly,” the report reads.
To contain the coronavirus pandemic and to maintain social distancing norms in the prison cells, H.H. the Amir Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al-Thani had issued official pardons to more than 500 inmates to reduce Qatar’s prison population. The report states that the country has opened its prisons for inspection by the National Human Rights Committee and International organizations on a timely basis reiterating that a Special Rapporteur from the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights had inspected Qatar’s prison facilities in January 2019. The statement added that Qatar treats anyone detained in its prisons with respect and dignity in line with the International standards.
The report stressed Qatar’s commitment to combating Coronavirus by bringing the cure to the last person possible. “Qatar continues to combat coronavirus and has one of the lowest death rates in the world with 15 deaths recorded. To date, 4,899 patients have recovered and been released from the hospital. The recovery figure is increasing by over 500 cases a day and is expected to increase further in the coming weeks,” the statement added.