“We once again apologize to the public, that such an incident occurred at the Seoul Dongbu Detention Center due to our lack of preemptive measures and the limitations of detention facilities.”
A fourth round of extensive COVID-19 testing revealed 126 new cases within the grounds, adding up to a total of 918 infections.
Meanwhile, another person has died, bringing the number of deaths linked to the outbreak to two.
This is the biggest cluster infection from a single facility that the country has seen.
Officials attribute this dire outbreak to the dense population and the poor ventilation of the facility.
The Ministry of Justice has decided to take drastic preventive measures to curb the outbreak.
“We will raise social distancing to level 3 in all correctional facilities. Inmate services like face-to-face education will be completely restricted. There will be minimal contact among inmates and lawyer visitation will also be limited.”
This measure will take effect immediately and last until January 13th.
Regular visitors are completely banned and lawyer visitations are banned except in certain circumstances.
Workers are also not allowed to leave the facility and cannot return home for two weeks.
Also, to lower the population of the prison, model and vulnerable inmates will be reviewed for parole, while some will be sent to other facilities.
Kim Yeon-seung, Arirang News