South African correctional center quarantined after measles outbreak

PRETORIA, South Africa — Dozens of measles cases has led to a 10-day quarantine and massive vaccination program at a correctional center in Johannesburg.

This comes as 51 cases of measles were confirmed at the facility Oct. 25.

Since Oct. 26, court appearances including new admissions of remand detainees and public visitations at the centre have been suspended in order to safeguard the public's health and prevent further infections.

Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula, the minister of correctional services, visited the correctional center Oct. 26 to observe the rollout of a measles vaccination program.

Workers from the Department of Health have been deployed to lead a massive vaccination program to cover more than 6,000 people awaiting trial and nearly 400 officials working at the correctional center to prevent the spread of the disease.

The vaccination program is part of a broader government initiative to protect the public from the outbreak of measles, which had started in Gauteng.

Mapisa-Nqakula said every effort would be taken to ensure that the disease detected at the Johannesburg correctional center was not just contained but eliminated in the interest of public health and safety.