Bhubaneswar: As the second wave of SARS-CoV-2 infections sweeps Odisha, as many as 816 prisoners have been tested positive for Covid-19 in the State during the month of May 2021, a statement released by the State Prison Headquarters has revealed.
As per the release, at least 420 prisoners have recovered from the viral disease while others are under treatment as per the protocols of the Odisha Health and Family Welfare Department. Till May 26, 658 prisoners have been shifted from over-congested jails with permission of trying courts, said the prisons department statement.
Most importantly, 54 out of 87 jails in the State have not been touched by the Covid pandemic which is a major relief for the government.
As a precautionary measure, the government has released an amount of Rs 15000 to each sub-jails and Rs 25000 to each district and special jails towards procurement of Covid kits, preventive medicines.
According to the data furnished by the Prisons Headquarters, the prisoner population in the State had surged to 20150 in comparison to the scheduled capacity of 19824 as of May 1, 2021. Citing serious concerns on the overcrowding of jails amid the second wave of the pandemic, a High Power Committee had suggested several measures for decongestion of jails. As a result, the number of prisoners lodged in various jails in the State has now come down to 18580.
The Prisons Department has informed that it is carrying out several containment measures to stop any rise in cases of Covid infections. Regular sanitization of wards, shifting of critically ill patients to Covid hospitals as per the laid-out protocols. Local CDMOs and Sub-Collectors have been given charge of looking after the health condition of prisoners periodically. The fire Services department has been supplying Sodium Hypochlorite Solution for disinfection of jails.