Thiruvananthapuram

COVID-19 cases mount in central prison in Thiruvananthapuram

A file photo of inmates on the way to the kitchen at the Central Prison at Poojappura in Thiruvananthapuram.

A file photo of inmates on the way to the kitchen at the Central Prison at Poojappura in Thiruvananthapuram.   | Photo Credit: Thulasi Kakkat

COVID-19 cases continued to emerge in large numbers in the Poojappura Central Prison in Thiruvananthapuram where 53 prisoners more tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 on Saturday, taking the number of inmates diagnosed with the infection within five days to 217.

Two assistant prison officers and a doctor, who works in the hospital in the jail premises, were also diagnosed with the disease when 114 people were tested on the day.

Data | Overcrowded jails and the COVID-19 contagion

The rapid spread has gripped the prison ever since a 71-year old prisoner, who had no recent parole history, incidentally tested positive after collapsing and falling unconscious on August 11. Subsequently, many more prisoners, all asymptomatic, have been diagnosed with the virus, thereby creating a cluster within the confined facility. Around 1,000 prisoners were currently lodged in the prison.

The prisons headquarters nearby has also closed for three days since Friday after two prisoners who were tasked with cleaning the premises also began to exhibit symptoms. The department’s famed “Freedom Food” unit has also been shut until further notice, bringing a temporary suspension to the supply of food packets in government-run hospitals.

Also read | Jails turn into hotbeds of disease

Capital district’s graph continues to soar

The capital district’s COVID-19 graph continued to soar with 321 people testing positive even as the district administration had lifted the lockdown that has been in force since July 6, claiming that the curbs were effective in containing “a further surge in disease spread to a large extent”.

As many as 313 people are known to have contracted the infection through local transmission. Six health workers were also diagnosed with the disease on the day.

The official COVID-19 death toll rose to 33 in Thiruvananthapuram with three more people — two women who hailed from Anjuthengu and Poonthura and a man from Chenkavila near Parassala — confirmed to have succumbed due to the disease during the last few days.

Three employees of Milma were diagnosed with the virus at its dairy plant in Ambalathara. They include a security guard, a field staff and an employee. While the dairy plant will continue to function, the other employees will be tested in the days to come, official sources said.

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Printable version | Sep 24, 2020 6:25:12 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Thiruvananthapuram/covid-19-cases-mount-in-central-prison-in-thiruvananthapuram/article32363829.ece

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