First Dutch prison inmate diagnosed with coronavirus

The first prisoner in the Netherlands to be diagnosed with coronavirus was discovered in the prison hospital ward in Scheveningen, the correctional facilities agency DJI confirmed on Thursday. No prisoners in the Netherlands have been allowed visitation since Saturday, with some exceptions.

Prisoners are allowed meetings with their attorneys, but appointments need to be made in advance at least through April 6. Juvenile detainees are still allowed visitation with their parents and guardians.

Minister Sander Dekker, who handles legal protection issues, said the institution's staff was ready for such an issue to arise. “Personnel were prepared for this and handled it adequately,” Dekker said on Twitter.

Prisoners were already sequestered in solitary confinement if they had respiratory symptoms like trouble breathing or coughs, cold and flu symptoms, and a temperature above 38 degrees Celsius. Those incarcerated who would normally qualify for a day pass or weekend pass are temporarily not allowed to leave prison grounds.

"The measures aim to limit the number of contacts and thus the risk of contamination. Contamination at a DJI institution has major consequences for staff and individuals," the DJI said in a statement.

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