Perth’s Prison’s Covid-19 crisis has escalated with nearly 100 prisoners currently suffering the disease.
The Scottish Prison Service (SPS) has confirmed it is handling a significant outbreak of the coronavirus at the Edinburgh Road prison and all inmates are self-isolating.
A total of 97 inmates are currently positive for Covid-19.
The prison can house more than 650 prisoners at one time.
Earlier this week, it was confirmed an outbreak in the prison’s A-Hall had meant prisoners on two levels were all self-isolating.
The Courier understands that currently, prisoners who would be sent from courts in Tayside and Fife are being sent to Barlinnie in Glasgow.
The SPS confirmed the heightened situation in an online update.
It said: “The safety and wellbeing of all those living and working in our establishments is a priority for the Scottish Prison Service.
“We are currently managing an outbreak in HMP Perth.
“There are currently 97 confirmed cases of Covid-19 amongst those in our care at HMP Perth.
“A significant number of these individuals are asymptomatic positives.
“As a precautionary measure, all individuals living in HMP Perth are currently isolating whilst mass testing is carried out.
“This means that they will not have access to courts or agents visits, family visits or the gymnasium.
“Individuals will have access to open air and showers, as well as their mobile phones and the hall phones.
“We continue to work closely with Public Health colleagues in managing these cases.
“A further update will be provided on Monday.”
Cause of latest death unclear
It is the latest outbreak at Perth Prison, which struggled to cope with the disease when it was at its peak in 2020.
Some prisoners were released early to safeguard others in the crowded jail.
Earlier this week, a prisoner at HMP Perth died.
A fatal accident inquiry will be held into the death of James Gorrie, 45, who died on 11 July.
At this point, it is unclear if Gorrie’s death is connected to the ongoing coronavirus outbreak.
He was convicted at Edinburgh High Court in 2011.
There were deaths at Perth Prison in the early days of the pandemic, with one prisoner from Perth and another from Fife dying.