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Brazilian Army Joins Effort to Disinfect Prison from COVID-19   

FILE - Navy soldiers are seen after carrying out a disinfection operation against the novel coronavirus COVID-19 at Tom Jobim Galeao International Airport in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on April 24, 2020.

The Brazilian army, in conjunction with the country's prison administration, conducted a large-scale disinfection operation to slow the spread of the coronavirus at the Gericinó Prison Complex in Rio de Janeiro.

A prison spokesman said Wednesday, soldiers outfitted in full body protection suits and face masks cleaned the infirmary, coronavirus isolation cells, administrative areas and visitor sections of the prison.

Colonel Rego Barros of the army's East Joint Command said the proactive measures were taken after seeing situations in which inmates became infected by COVID-19 in other states.

So far, Brazil has reported at least 78,000 covid-19 cases and more than 5,400 deaths.

Peru has the second highest coronavirus case total in Latin American behind Brazil.

On Monday, Peru's National Penitentiary Institute confirmed reports of inmates setting fires and demanding to be freed, as more prisoners become infected with the disease.

Reuters news agency says human rights groups are calling on the Peruvian government to allow house arrest during the pandemic.