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Prisons set up isolation wards

With the number of Covid-19 infected patients increasing, prisons department is not taking any chances; new inmates, those who return from parole and those with symptoms are being isolated

Published: 18th March 2020 07:00 AM  |   Last Updated: 18th March 2020 07:00 AM   |  A+A-

Express News Service

KOCHI: With Kerala registering an upward trend in the number of Covid-19 cases over the last few weeks, the number of officially confirmed patients now stands at 27. Apart from bringing daily life to a virtual standstill, the outbreak has seeped into the prison system as well. Almost all jails in the state, including the Poojapura Central Prison, Kannur Central Prison and Viyyur Central Prison, have been put on alert with isolation wards being set up inside the premises. The staff and inmates are also being told to take all preventive measures.

A separate isolation cell has been set up in Poojapura Central Prison for inmates who were out on parole, new inmates and those who have appeared before the court recently. A block consisting of about 140 rooms has been vacated for the purpose. As many as 85 inmates have been moved to the block as a precautionary step.

“The isolation wards have been set up as a precautionary measure. Although none of the 85 inmates has shown flu-like symptoms, they have been kept under observation at present. Face masks and hand wash have been provided,” said Ratheesh R C, assistant superintendent of Grade 1, Poojapura Central Prison. 
Any inmate displaying symptoms will be tested immediately, added the officer. 

The jail authorities are further creating awareness among inmates with the help of a special health team about using hand sanitisers and washing hands at regular intervals. Other inmates have also been kept in separate cells for a few days. Thermal scanners have been deployed to screen visitors entering the jail premises.The isolation facility at Ernakulam District Jail is currently housing two inmates. However, the jail authorities have stressed that the inmates have not shown flu-like symptoms. 

Like the Poojapura Central Prison, Kannur Central Prison has also taken all necessary precautions to curb the spread of the virus. “We have set up an isolation ward by moving inmates from some of the cells. We are isolating new inmates as well as those who have come back after their parole or court hearings. Around 30 inmates have already been put in isolation,” said T Baburajan, superintendent, Central Prison, Kannur. Besides this, hand soaps have been kept in every block and guidelines have been given. 

The Viyyur Central Prison has also emptied some of the rooms to accommodate inmates found with symptoms. The jail authorities have also said that they have begun manufacturing facemasks for inmates and health workers.

Situation in the district
The isolation facility at Ernakulam District Jail is currently housing two inmates. However, the jail authorities have stressed that the inmates have not shown flu-like symptoms

In a nutshell 
Almost all jails in the state, including the Poojapura Central Prison, Kannur Central Prison and Viyyur Central Prison, have been put on alert with isolation wards being set up in the premises. The staff and inmates are being told to take preventive measures 



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