Convicts test positive, admitted to Stanley GH

One staff, life convict died of health issues

At least half-a-dozen inmates of the Puzhal central prison tested positive for COVID-19 and were admitted to the Stanley Government Hospital here.

While a life convict died due to a heart disease, a staff of the prison department working as driver in Central Prison – 1, who tested positive for the virus died after several days of hospitalisation, sources in the health department said on Monday.

The condition of six prisoners, including one referred from the Institute of Mental Health and two lodged in high-security blocks, was said to be stable at the Convicts’ Ward at the Stanley Government Hospital.

Director-General of Police, Prisons and Correctional Services, Sunil Kumar Singh said the lorry driver P. Ramesh (47) tested positive for COVID-19 on May 14 and died 15 days later following treatment in different hospitals. The life convict who died has tested negative for the virus, he said.

Mr Singh said strict safety protocols were being adhered to in Central Prisons to ensure the safety of inmates. Transfers of prisoners from Sub-Jails was being done after quarantine and RTPCR negative. Interviews were suspended and prisoners were allowed video calls to interact with their family members.

"We are quarantining prisoners returning from leave, hospitals etc before allowing them to mingle with others. Any prisoner showing symptoms of COVID-19 was referred for medical examination. Special camps are being organised at all Central Prisons and Special Prison for Women to vaccinate prisoners. Vaccination camp was also being held at the Borstal School in Pudukottai", he said.

Mr Singh said he had a video-conference with all Deputy Inspectors General of Prisons and Jail Superintendents to review the progress made on the vaccination programme and also to sensitise them to the precautions to be taken as regards follow up of positive cases and safety of other inmates.

Mr Singh said 27% convicts and 38% of prison staff were vaccinated as of May 30. The vaccination programme had gained momentum due to awareness programmes.

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