30 prisoners lodged in the high-security Puzhal Prison off Chennai have tested positive for the coronavirus, a senior official in the state police department said on Friday. This comes just days after three cases were reported in the Cuddalore and Trichy prisons.
According to Times of India, the tests in Puzhal were conducted on close contacts of the three inmates found positive for COVID-19 on May 27. Reports suggest that samples were taken from 93 contacts of these men and that they have been quarantined till results arrive. Prison officials have reportedly asked that all 650 inmates of the prison and 40 staff be tested but this has not been done.
Seven of the 30 from Puzhal prison have been hospitalised while the remaining inmates stay in isolation inside the prison. Prison officials are closely monitoring the movement of prisoners now that the disease has pervaded even totally enclosed spaces like prisons, said by Senior Police Official
According to The Hindu, on May 22, a group of convicts were shifted to central prisons in Madurai, Cuddalore and other districts. After they began to exhibit mild symptoms, they were tested and seven of the 19 were found positive for the virus on May 27 and May 28.
Officials have pointed out that while physical distancing was being maintained in cells and grounds, prisoners were still in contact in the kitchen, dining area and rooms where they made calls. Prison authorities have however assured that proper medical care was being given to infected prisoners of different age groups. Areas across the prison complex are also being disinfected as a precaution.
Recoveries in Tamil Nadu have been at an all-time high recently. Out of the 20,246 cases, 11,313 have been discharged. On Friday alike, discharges touched 765 people. On Thursday however, the death toll was 12. On Friday, nine people were reported dead from COVID-19.
Source: The News Minute