Delhi

‘Only 2 inmates have died of virus in Delhi prisons so far’

The DG (Prisons) informed a high-powered committee (HPC) headed by a Delhi High Court judge that so far two inmates inside Delhi’s jails have died of COVID-19 out of a total of 61 inmates who contracted the virus.

DG (Prisons) Sandeep Goel said that as on July 30, of the 61 inmates who contracted the virus, 55 inmates have recovered, one inmates released on bail is under home quarantine, and three inmates are with active cases of COVID-19.

Mr. Goel also stated that 165 prison staff have contracted the virus, of which 143 have recovered and only 22 active cases are there who are mostly under home quarantine.

Mr. Goel said a 70-year-old convict who was serving his sentence in jail no.14, Mandoli was found COVID-19 positive on June 26. On same date, the inmate developed uneasiness due to heart-related symptoms and was referred to DDU Hospital. He was then sent to Lok Nayak Hospital.

Other inmates tested

The DG (Prisons) said the inmate, on the request of his family, was sent to Akash Health Care Hospital, Dwarka (in custody) where he expired on July 4. Another 62-year-old inmate lodged in Mandoli jail died of COVID-19 on June 15, prompting the jail authorities to test other inmates.

Mr. Goel said the jail administration is taking extra precautions with respect to inmates who are more than 55 years of age, so that they are not ‘immuno-compromised’.

Decongesting jails

The HPC headed by Justice Hima Kohli, which took stock of the ongoing process of decongesting prisons here, was informed that a total of 4,439 inmates have been released so far. Of which, 3,211 are undertrial prisoners (UTPs), 1,165 convicts have been released on emergency parole and 63 convicts have been released on remission of sentence.

The committee had also relaxed the criteria for release during the ongoing pandemic with respect to those prisoners/ UTPs who are suffering from HIV, cancer, chronic kidney dysfunction (UTPs requiring dialysis), Hepatitis B or C, asthma, and TB.

The decision was taken in view of overcrowding of the 16 jails in the Capital which has an overall holding capacity of 10,026 inmates but was found to have an actual occupancy of 17,552 as on March 25, 2020.

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Printable version | Sep 20, 2020 2:39:52 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Delhi/only-2-inmates-have-died-of-virus-in-delhi-prisons-so-far/article32271813.ece

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