Bhubaneswar: The second wave of Covid pandemic has now started to make its presence feel in jails across Odisha. In the span of some weeks, prisons in the State have fallen victim to the resurgence in the virus cases putting the government on toes.
As many as 96 inmates at the Jharpada jail in the State Capital city have been tested positive for Covid-19 on Thursday. The Jail authorities have informed that all those infected comprising both prisoners and staff of the jail have been kept in isolation.
As many as 195 samples were sent for Covid testing by the Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation administration, but 96 of them indicated presence of viral infection. A few days ago, an under-trial prisoner arrested under the NDPS Act and lodged in the Special Jail had succumbed to the virus infection. Identified as Tripati Mohanty from Ganjam district, the prisoner was suffering from diabetes and hypertension.
Cases of Covid infections continue to surface from prisons across Odisha over past several days. Recently, 48 inmates of Berhampur Circle jail were tested positive for the virus infection. Similarly, last week, 68 prisoners at Jharsuguda sub-jail were also found infected with Coronavirus.
On May 17, the Prisons Directorate informed that it has already ordered 449 convicts to be released on 90 days parole, in compliance to instruction of the Apex Court. The State Legal Services Authority had been requested to consider further decongestion of jails by grant of parole to similarly placed convicts as well as for consideration of prisoners above 60 years of age and inmates with comorbidities.
Earlier on Thursday, a review meeting to discuss various measures on combating Covid infections in jails was held under the chairmanship of DG, Prisons Santosh Kumar Upadhyay.