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Sharmili Mallick

Rourkela: Covid-19 cases continue to be a major concern for prison authorities in Odisha with as many as 17 jail inmates of Rourkela Special Jail testing positive for the virus on Thursday.

Following detection of the infection, all the inmates of the jail have been admitted to Rourkela Covid Hospital.

Out of the total 1466 antigen tests conducted in Sundergarh district on August 6, a total of 86 people tested positive for SARS-nCoV while 17 among them are prisoners of Rourkela Special Jail.

The city municipal corporation authorities conducted an intensive sanitisation drive inside the jail premises.

Earlier on June 7, six under-trial prisoners had tested positive for the novel coronavirus in the jail. Soon after the incident, over 500 prisoners of the prison went on hunger strike and demanded tests for all inmates and jail staff.

Till now, a total of 23 prisoners of Rourkela Special Jail have contracted the viral disease. The first case of Covid-19 from jail was reported from Puri on May 17.

As on July 31, the state prison directorate said that 96 inmates of 10 prisons in the state were found to have been infected by the novel coronavirus. Seventeen staff of four jails had also tested positive for the disease.

The State prison authorities recently released 16,789 inmates from jails across the state on parole to decongest prisons in the wake of the pandemic.

(Edited By Suryakant Jena)

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