668 prisoners tested positive for COVID-19, govt. tells HC

585 of them have recovered so far

Published - September 27, 2020 12:38 am IST - Bengaluru

The State government has told the High Court of Karnataka that 668 prisoners lodged in 47 prisons have tested positive for COVID-19 as of September 18 and 585 of them have fully recovered from the infection after being treated at designated hospitals or care centres.

Also, the government said that 16,418 tests for COVID-19 were conducted for prisoners.

While 11,116 tests were conducted for those brought to prisons for the first time, 4,794 tests were conducted for the existing inmates, and 508 for prisoners who returned from parole, as of September 18.

The data was submitted before a Division Bench comprising Chief Justice Abhay Shreeniwas Oka and Justice Ashok S. Kinagi during the hearing of a petition filed by Amol Kale, a prime accused in Gauri Lankesh murder case lodged at the central prison in Mysuru. The petitioner had sought various measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in the prison.

The remaining 83 prisoners are undergoing treatment at designated COVID-19 hospitals or care centre, the government said while pointing that no COVID-19 inmates are being treated in any prison.

Only isolation wards have been set up inside each prison to isolate inmates with symptoms of cough, cold, and fever, and they are tested for COVID-19, the government said.

97.7% of the capacity

The court was also informed that the present population in the prisons is only 97.7% of the total capacity as against 110% that existed in March owing to various decongestion measures initiated in view of COVID-19.

As per the data, Bengaluru Central Prison had 320 COVID-19 prisoners of which 303 had recovered and 17 were under treatment and Mysuru Central Prison had 64 COVID-19 inmates of which 55 recovered and nine were undergoing treatment as of September 18.

Also, in 11 prisons none of the inmates have tested positive for COVID-19 so far.

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