67 jail inmates, 11 staffers under treatment for coronavirus in Delhi

Of the convicts, 1,072 have surrendered and 112 are yet to surrender

67 jail inmates, 11 staffers under treatment for coronavirus in Delhi

Photo for representation only. — File photo

New Delhi, April 14

Over 60 inmates and 11 staff members in the three prison complexes of Delhi are presently undergoing treatment for COVID-19, officials said on Wednesday.

"A total of 190 inmates have tested positive for COVID-19 so far," Director General (Prisons) Sandeep Goel said.

According to the data shared by officials, the number of active COVID-19 cases in Delhi prisons till Wednesday stands at 78, including 11 jail staff members.

"Of the 190 positive cases, 121 inmates have recovered and two have died, leaving 67 active cases. A total of 304 prison staff contracted the infection so far. Of them, 293 have recovered and 11 are still under treatment," Goel said. 

The 11 staff members who have been infected with coronavirus included a jail superintendent of Mandoli Jail and two jail doctors of Tihar Jail, he said.

The first case of coronavirus was reported in Rohini Jail on May 13 last year. Two COVID-19 positive inmates of Mandoli Jail died on June 15 and July 4, respectively. Both were senior citizens.

The officials had said ever since the outbreak of the pandemic in March last year, the Prisons Department remained vigilant and instructed its staff to not only maintain hygiene and social distancing among themselves but also spread awareness about the infection among inmates in the three jail complexes.

A total of 1,184 convicts and around 5,500 undertrials were released last year under the department's decongestion drive amid the pandemic outbreak. 

Of the convicts, 1,072 have surrendered and 112 are yet to surrender. The jail officials said 2,200 undertrial prisoners have surrendered and 3,300 are yet to surrender.

"We have shared lists of convicts and undertrial prisoners who have not surrendered with Delhi police. Meanwhile, some undertrial prisoners are still surrendering and some might have obtained regular bails from the courts, which is being ascertained," jail sources said.

Earlier, the prison officials had said the situation could be more difficult to manage when the inmates, who were granted parole during the pandemic outbreak last year, would return.

There are a total of 18,900 inmates in the Delhi prisons comprising Tihar, Rohini and Mandoli jails. However, the intake capacity is just 10,026 inmates, the officials had said.

The number of prisoners will pass the 20,000-mark as more inmates will come after their emergency parole ends, they had said.

Meanwhile, the COVID-19 vaccination process in the jails is underway. — PTI

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