Minister without portfolio in the Ministry of National Security, Senator Matthew Samuda, says some 50 staff members at Correctional facilities across the island currently have COVID 19.

Mr. Samuda says 13 inmates are currently afflicted with the virus.

He says since the start of the pandemic, two members of the prison population have died after contracting the virus.

He says the Ministry is focused on allowing access to vaccines to every inmate and staff who are willing to take the jab.

He also says he doesn’t feel the country is at the point where a vaccine mandate is necessary.

Yesterday Prime Minister Andrew Holness told the media he believes the current health crisis empowers the government to move in the direction of issuing a vaccine directive for Jamaican citizens.

Matthew Samuda, Minister without portfolio in the Ministry of National Security.

He was speaking last evening on Nationwide @5, with Cliff Hughes and Tyrone Reid.