Inmates in Belgian prisons have made 61,000 mouth masks so far

According to the Prison Service spokeswoman Kathleen De Vijver, inmates in Belgian prisons have made around 61,000 mouth masks. The masks are intended for use within the country’s prisons and by other organisations such as the Flemish Children’s and Family Agency Kind en Gezin, the rail infrastructure company Infrabel and the Aliens’ Office. A further 17,000 masks are in the process of being made. Extra orders are currently on hols as the prison service first wants to finish the mask that inmates have started working on before it starts work on any more. 

The mouth masks are being produced in four existing textile workshops that were already running before the onset of the COVID-19 crisis.  In addition to this nine other workshops that were set up at the end of March are also being used to make the masks. Around 50 prisoners are working in the temporary workshops.

Meanwhile, 17 inmates in Belgian prisons have tested positive for COVID-19. Two of this are under being kept under medical observation and 9 are on the COVID-19 section of the hospital wing of Bruges Gaol. 

A total of 62 member of staff that work at Belgian prisons have tested positive for the novel coronavirus so far. Of these 28 are still off work. Despite their absence the Prisons’ Service stress that there is currently no shortage of staff.