Over 2,000 inmates of Central Prison receive first dose of COVID-19 vaccine

Of the 49 prisons across Karnataka, 32 have no case of infection

Published - June 02, 2021 08:27 am IST

Around 2,730 inmates of Central Prison, Parappana Agrahara – both convicts and undertrials, all older than 18 years – received their first shot of the COVID-19 vaccine on Tuesday. With this, 3,264 inmates have received their first dose of Covishield. In May, 533 people over the age of 45 were vaccinated. Now, 1,414 inmates are waiting for their turn.

According to Alok Mohan, Director General of Police (Prisons and Correctional Services), who is supervising the vaccination drive, 32 of the 49 prisons across Karnataka currently do not have a single case of COVID-19. The remaining 17 prisons have reported a few cases, he said.

Thirteen inmates of Central Prison, Parappana Agrahara have COVID-19 and are being treated in the prison ward at the Epidemic Diseases Hospital, Indiranagar.

“All the prisons are following a standard of hygiene and sanitisation,” said Mr. Mohan.

People are admitted only after they undergo an RT-PCR test. Even then, they are housed in a quarantine cell for 15 days. They are then tested again following which they are allowed into the regular cells.

Prison officials and staff have been strictly directed to use masks and face shields while on duty, and inmates are provided additional supply of soaps, sanitisers and masks.

To reduce overcrowding, which puts people at risk, the prisons department released 1,013 inmates on parole or bail in March, following directions from the Supreme Court.

According to prison officials, one factor that has helped mitigate the spread of COVID-19 is that inmates are no longer physically taken to courts. “Trials are arranged through video-conferences. This not only helps to control the spread of the infection, but also reduces the risk faced by police escort teams who have to ferry inmates to court and back,” said a prison official.

While the prisons department has suspended family meetings, video conferencing facilities were introduced for inmates to connect with their families. “Since we started in January this year. as many as 7,000 inmates have availed of this facility,” said prison officials.

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