Inmates of the Madurai and Tiruchi Central Prisons have been administered the first dose of COVID-19 vaccines.
Over 1,500 convicts, under-trials, remand prisoners and those under preventive custody have been administered vaccines in Madurai, at a special drive held on Saturday, said Deputy Inspector General (Prisons), Madurai range, D. Pazhani.
Director General of Prisons and Correctional Services Sunil Kumar Singh had ordered 100% vaccination of prisoners, prison employees and their family members.
A similar drive is being conducted at the Central Prison in Palayamkottai. While 80% inmates have been vaccinated, the rest will get their jabs when the next stock of vaccines become available.
With a stringent process of lodging remand prisoners in sub-jails until their COVID-19 negative reports are obtained, officials have succeeded in keeping Central prisons free of the virus during the second wave, he added.
The Tiruchi Central Prison has also given the first dose of vaccines to its inmates and jail staff. All 1,290 prisoners belonging to different categories — convicts, remand prisoners and TPDA (Tamil Nadu Prevention of Dangerous Activities Act) detenus — have got the jabs, in phases, within the jail premises.
Vaccines have also been administered to all 365 prison staff and their family members residing in quarters, located in close proximity to the Central Prison, adjoining the Tiruchi-Pudukottai National Highway. All jail staff deployed in different sub-jails, functioning in Tiruchi, Karur, Ariyalur and Perambalur districts, falling under the Tiruchi control have also been vaccinated.
Mr. Singh said 92% of the total 4,200-odd convicts lodged in Central prisons in the State had been vaccinated and 95% prison staff and 35% remand prisoners, initially lodged in sub-jails before being lodged in other prisons, had also been inoculated.
“Our goal is to achieve 100% vaccination of all staff and inmates, and make Tamil Nadu’s prisons the best protected from COVID-19,” Mr. Singh said.
The capacity of the State’s prisons, including Central prisons, is 23,592, while their occupancy is around 59%.