Penang Remand Prison running out of PPE

Vital equipment: Prison staff carrying PPE gear into Penang Remand Prison in George Town. — CHAN BOON KAI/The Star

GEORGE TOWN: Penang Remand Prison has made a public plea for more personal protective equipment (PPE) for its staff and masks for its inmates.

At present, the prison only had enough PPE for another week, said Penang Remand Prison deputy superintendent Azman Husain.

“If the enhanced movement control order (MCO) is extended, there will be not enough PPE for our staff.

“There are around 300 staff members per shift and we have three shifts a day. PPE cannot be used for a long period and our staff members have to change them after using them once.

“Each day, we need an estimated 300 to 400 PPE for all three shifts,” he said after receiving 1,000 sets of PPE from Seberang Jaya assemblyman Dr Afif Bahardin yesterday.

He said they also needed more face masks for staff and inmates.

“We have 2,305 inmates. Imagine how many masks we need in a day for all of them.

“So far, we have enough food supply. As for mineral water, we have to supply three litres a day per person in disposable water bottles,” he said.

Dr Afif said the 1,000 sets of PPE he contributed cost around RM20,000.

“We were told that PPEs are needed for prison staff and wardens. This is a joint effort by members of Penggerak Komuniti Negara, Pemuda Negara and Nation of Women.

“It took them about two months to sew the PPE at a workshop in Seberang Jaya on the mainland.

“We hope the public can donate raw materials for us to sew more PPE. We have paid workers who are single mothers from the B40 community at our workshop,” he said.

On Oct 13, Senior Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob said Penang Remand Prison and the prison officers quarters would be placed under enhanced MCO from Oct 15 until 11.59pm on Oct 27.

As of Monday, there were 636 Covid-19 positive cases in Penang with two main clusters at Penang Remand Prison and Seberang Prai Prison.

The Remand Prison cluster recorded 160 new active cases on Sunday, bringing the total number of positive cases to 377 with one death, while the Jawi Prison cluster recorded 54 cases.

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