Covid-19: Prison officials in China fired after hundreds infected in jails

They had "poorly implemented" their responsibilities, authorities said.

Julia Yeo| February 21, 06:28 PM

Top officials deemed responsible for the outbreak of Covid-19 infecting 234 people in two prisons in China have been sacked, according to Chinese authorities on Feb. 21, 2020.

Covid-19 numbers spike in Shandong & Zhejiang prisons

The infections happened in Zhejiang and Shandong, outside the epicentre of the outbreak, according to Reuters.

The outbreak revealed that some departments had “poorly implemented their responsibilities, their work was not solid and epidemic prevention measures are inaccurate”, said the deputy secretary-general of Shandong provincial government.

According to Chinese media, Xie Weijun, head of Shandong Provincial Department of Justice, was removed from his post.

They cited "negligent prevention and control work at the prison" as the reason.

207 people at the Rencheng prison in Jining city, Shandong, tested positive.

According to Reuters, a prison officer only discovered a case on Feb. 13.

Fired officials in Shandong included the chief of the provincial justice department and seven prison officials, authorities said in a media briefing.

27 prisoners were found to be newly infected at a prison this week in Zhejiang,

Chinese media reported that the Shilifeng Prison, which reported 27 new confirmed cases on Friday, has been put under close inspection, and that local police have launched an investigation into those involved in allowing the outbreak to happen.

According to Reuters, the director and Communist Party chief of the Shilifeng prison were fired.

230 infected in Wuhan women's prison, governor fired

Hubei reportedly found a total of 271 cases in two jails, including 230 infected in a women’s prison in Wuhan.

The governor of the women’s prison has been dismissed for failing to control the spread of the virus, according to an official Hubei Daily newspaper.

There are at least 74,000 cases of Covid-19 in China, with more than 2,100 deaths.

Top image via People's Daily China/Twitter