SINGAPORE – Several inmates and staff of Institution A1 of Changi Prison Complex have tested positive for Covid-19 as at Tuesday (Nov 9), said the Singapore Prison Service (SPS).
Affected housing units in Institution A1 have been locked down to prevent further spread of the virus, said SPS.
This follows confirmation earlier on Tuesday that Malaysian drug trafficker Nagaenthran K. Dharmalingam, who is facing execution, had tested positive for Covid-19. He is housed in Institution A1.
SPS said he had transient contact with two staff who had tested positive.
It added that as at Sunday, 97 per cent of eligible inmates have received at least one dose of the Covid-19 vaccine and 90 per cent have completed both doses.
A total of 99.5 per cent of staff have completed both doses of vaccination, said SPS.
The agency added that as part of safe management measures, staff and partners entering prison facilities must undergo antigen rapid tests (ART) twice weekly, while external personnel entering prisons on an ad-hoc basis are required to undergo an ART prior to each entry into prisons.
In court on Tuesday, Nagaenthran was granted a further stay of his execution by a three-judge Court of Appeal that was urgently convened to hear his challenge against his death sentence – which was to have been carried out on Wednesday (Nov 10).
Nagaenthran was briefly brought to the dock before he was led away.
When the court session started, Justice of the Court of Appeal Andrew Phang said: “We understand that he has tested positive for Covid-19.”
He said the court will adjourn the hearing to a date to be fixed and issue a stay of execution until all proceedings are concluded.
Nagaenthran is seeking to challenge his execution, contending that he has the mental age of a person below 18.
A cluster of Covid-19 infections was reported at Changi Prison Complex earlier this year, and was traced to a 39-year-old man who worked as a chef at the prison complex and tested positive for the coronavirus on May 13.
The SPS said on July 8 that all 13 of its inmates who contracted Covid-19 had recovered, and that it had put in place enhanced measures to detect and contain Covid-19.
The 13 inmates were cellmates and worked in the same prison kitchen.
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