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WHO, other UN agencies call for more prevention and control measures in prisons

(Xinhua)    08:39, May 14, 2020

GENEVA, May 13 (Xinhua) -- World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus on Wednesday joined a group of UN officials in urging all countries to enhance prevention and control measures in respect to vulnerable populations in places of detention.

"Today, I joined leaders from the global health, human rights and development institutions to draw the attention of political leaders to the heightened vulnerability of prisoners during the COVID-19 pandemic," Tedros said during a virtual press conference from Geneva.

According to the WHO chief, overcrowding in prisons undermines hygiene, health, safety and human dignity, and health response to COVID-19 in closed settings alone is insufficient.

"We urge political leaders to ensure that COVID-19 preparedness and responses in closed settings are identified and implemented in line with fundamental human rights and are guided by WHO guidance and recommendations to protect human health," Tedros said.

The heads of a number of UN agencies, including the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, WHO, UNAIDS, and Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, on Wednesday issued a joint statement on COVID-19 in prisons and other closed settings.

"Acknowledging that the risk of introducing COVID-19 into prisons or other places of detention varies from country to country, we emphasize the need to minimize the occurrence of the disease in these settings and to guarantee that adequate preventive measures are in place to ensure a gender-responsive approach and preventing large outbreaks of COVID-19," said the joint statement.

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Web editor: He Zhuoyan, Bianji)

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