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Corrections Minister Kelvin Davis said his department should be able to deal with the entry of Covid-19 into the prison system.
Six of the country’s 18 prisons have reported cases of Omicron, including 46 at the Serco-run men’s correctional facility in Wiri.
229 of the 771 detainees are now in quarantine.
46 staff at the Upper North Island prisons are on leave after coming into close contact with positive cases.
Mr Davis says Omicron’s surge was anticipated by Corrections.
“They are prepared for this. The staff who contracted the Covid, they are obviously not at work. They have people who came to replace them, so they sorted everything out to make sure they got enough kaimahi,” he says.
Mount Eden Remand Prison, Waikeria and Spring Hill Prisons have also reported cases.