Prison services are providing prisoners with alcohol-free hand sanitizer to prevent them from producing “moonshine.”
While the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and WHO (World Health Organization) have insisted people use hand sanitizers or alcohol-based hand wash during the worldwide coronavirus outbreak, an IPS spokesman told reporters that the prisoners do not have access to this sort of hand sanitizer for “security reasons.” Correctional facilities with no access to sufficient cleaning supplies, like alcohol-based products, have become prospective areas for COVID-19 to circulate rapidly.
“Prisoners in jail are more likely to contract the virus due to overcrowding and low levels of sanitization,” said Sherif Sultan, the International Society of Vascular Surgery president, according to various reports. “[They] are quarantined from society but not from each other. They lack handwashing facilities or hand sanitizer, which is sometimes deemed contraband due to its alcohol content. Handcuffed people cannot cover their mouths when they cough or sneeze.”
A spokesperson for IPS made a similar assertion. “The unique environment of a prison and the sheer numbers and diversity of people who pass through our prisons make vigilance around infection prevention and control absolutely necessary.” While alcohol-based hand sanitizer is prohibited in many United States prisons, Andrew Cuomo announced recently that one prison in New York will cook up for the public the state’s own brand of hand sanitizer, which has become sparse throughout the coronavirus pandemic.
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