Follow Us:

Odisha jails bear the brunt of pandemic: 96 inmates test COVID positive in Bhubaneswar special jail

Infections have spurted in most of the 87 jails in the State after the outbreak of the second wave of the disease.

SNS | New Delhi |

As the second wave of COVID-19 continues to trigger havoc in Odisha, the jails in the State have increasingly come under the vice-like grip of Coronavirus with as many as 96 inmates of overcrowded Jharpada circle jail here contracting the pandemic virus on Friday.

Infections have spurted in most of the 87 jails in the State after the outbreak of the second wave of the disease. Over 400 prisoners have so far been infected while one of them has succumbed to the virus, said a senior official of the State’s prison administration.

Things are disturbing in Jharpada special jail in Bhubaneswar as 50 per cent of samples sent for COVID diagnosis were found to be positive cases. The jail which has a capacity of 749 is currently housing as many as 942 prisoners. As a result, it has become challenging to maintain social distancing in the cells of the jail.

Aware of the infections spreading fast in jails, the Odisha government has so far released around 775 under-trial prisoners and convicts on bail and parole from prisons to decongest the jails and to keep the spread of Coronavirus infections at bay. Currently 19,707 prisoners are lodged in 87 jails of the State while there were 20,482 inmates in the jails on 1 May. More prisoners will be released shortly in conformity of legal parameters to decongest the jails in view of the rapid spike in virus infections, the official added.

The jail officials are following social-distancing norms and have restricted the jail visits of outsiders. Visitors have been asked to take recourse to the e-mulakat facility from their homes instead of coming to the jails physically. The movement of prisoners to courts on hearing dates has been stopped to ensure social-distancing to fight COVID-19 pandemic. The court hearings are being held through video-conferencing (VC) from jail premises, they added.