Jailbirds in Assam to find freedom amidst COVID-19
GUWAHATI | JULY 24, 2020:
Assam has been witnessing a surge in the number of Covid-19 cases over the past few weeks, over 44 per cent of the 984 prisoners in Guwahati Central Jail, including peasant leader Akhil Gogoi and student activist Sharjeel Imam, have tested positive for the virus.
The Gauhati High Court has ordered the Assam government to provide the best treatment to prisoners who have tested positive for COVID-19 after suo motu cognizance of the rising number of cases inside the jails.
A total of 535 inmates have been tested positive for the virus across ten jails in the state and of the highest 435 were from Guwahati, Assam.
After creating a 200-bed COVID Care Centre (CCC) inside the Guwahati Central Jail to treat the asymptomatic patients, authorities are creating a second such facility inside the Nagaon Special Jail.
A total of 376 inmates of different jails, including 111 from the one in Guwahati, will be released in the next few days to decongest the prisons given the COVID-19 outbreak.
Officials said that the authorities have completed testing of all prisoners inside the Guwahati jail and found that 435 tested positive. Out of them, 197 have recovered and returned from the hospitals. On a state-wide level, we have detected 535 positive cases from 10 jails so far.
The worst affected Guwahati Central Jail currently has 984 inmates against its capacity to house 1,000 prisoners, he added.
The CCC in Guwahati jail is a 200-bed facility. It is being maintained jointly by the jail and health officials, while the NHM (National Health Mission) has provided doctors, nurses, and other medical staff. Their diets have also been improved as per COVID-19 guidelines.