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Mrunal Manmay Dash

Bhubaneswar: Gopalpur MLA Pradeep Panigrahi and Retired IFS officer Abhay Kant Pathak, both lodged at Jharpada jail in Bhubaneswar, test positive for COVID19 on Friday. The duo has been isolated and initial treatment has begun, informed sources.

As per reports, apart from Panigrahi and Pathak, 96 other inmates were tested positive for the virus in the jail on Thursday and shifted to the isolation ward of the jail.

The jail authorities and health officials are keeping a close eye on the duo. And they will be immediately shifted to a COVID hospital if their health condition deteriorates, informed jail sources.

Earlier this month, Abhay Kant Pathak was compulsorily retired after the Centre approved Odisha government’s recommendations for the same.

It is pertinent to mention here that, after a steep spike in COVID cases in various jails of Odisha, the department had issued an SoP for COVID management including deployment of a nodal officer to supervise COVID enforcement and treatment in all the jails of the State.

As per a Supreme Court order to decongest jail premises, Odisha has already sent 126 prisoners on parole. A total of 669 prisoners have been granted parole and will be released in a phased manner.

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