• Kyodo


Kyoto Prison held Friday the nation’s first drill to prepare for a possible outbreak of the new coronavirus at a jail facility, with officers practicing separating infected inmates and disinfecting the premises.

In Japan, there have so far been no reports of mass infections at a penitentiary. The drill held at the prison in Kyoto’s Yamashina Ward was based on a scenario of an inmate being suspected of having contracted the coronavirus and who came into close contact with several officers.

Wearing protective gear, the officers carried another officer playing the role of an inmate to a separate building with the use of a wheelchair. They then disinfected the inmate’s cell.

“Kyoto Prison has many elderly inmates, and 60 percent of people aged 70 or older here have underlying health conditions,” said Hiroaki Otake, the head of the prison. “We will remain vigilant and strengthen measures against the virus amid growing concerns over a second wave of infections.”

The drill was based on coronavirus countermeasures drawn up by the Justice Ministry, which oversees such detention facilities across the country.

In April, a defendant in his 60s at Tokyo Detention House was confirmed to have COVID-19, the disease caused by the virus, while eight officers at Osaka Detention House and a male officer at a prison in northern Japan’s Hokkaido have tested positive for the disease.

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