Advocates say Montreal inmate’s COVID-19 death highlights need for action

Rights groups and families of detainees are calling for action from the Quebec government after an inmate died of COVID-19 in a Montreal detention centre this week.

The groups say the 72-year-old inmate died on Tuesday at the Bordeaux provincial jail in the north end of the city.

Jean-Louis Nguyen, whose partner is currently detained at Bordeaux, says the inmate’s death was avoidable.

Questioned about the death on Wednesday, Quebec Public Security Minister Geneviève Guilbault said measures to stem the spread of COVID-19 inside provincial jails are in place.

She added that it is impossible to avoid all cases because of the close living quarters inside jails, which according to government figures have 60 active COVID-19 cases.

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