An 84-year-old man has become the first British prisoner to die after contracting coronavirus.
The inmate, at HMP Littlehey, a category C male sex offenders’ prison in Cambridgeshire, died in hospital on Sunday. He reportedly had underlying health issues.
A Prison Service spokesman said: “An 84-year-old prisoner at HMP Littlehey died in hospital on 22 March. Our thoughts are with his family at this time.
“As with all deaths in custody, there will be an independent investigation by the prisons and probation ombudsman.”
As of Wednesday, 19 inmates had tested positive for Covid-19 across 10 jails and four prison staff had tested positive for the disease across four jails in England and Wales. Three prisoner escort and custody services staff have also tested positive for Covid-19.
The Prison Service said robust contingency plans have been put in place at its facilities in consultation with Public Health England and the Department of Health and Social Care.
It added that prisons were well prepared to take immediate action wherever cases or suspected cases of Covid-19 were identified, including the isolation of individuals where necessary.