BENGALURU: The number of Covid-19 cases in prisons across the state has come down over the last few weeks. Of the 49 prisons in Karnataka, 39 of them have zero Covid-19 cases. Speaking to TNIE, Director General of Police and DG, Prisons & Correctional Services, Alok Mohan said, “We have only 10 prisons in which there are some Covid-19 cases.”
In Bengaluru Central Prison at Parappana Agrahara, there are five Covid-positive prisoners. “They are asymptomatic and in quarantine,” he added.
The sprawling prison campus has a new building, which has been turned into a quarantine centre for asymptomatic Covid-positive patients.
The Prisons Department has further ramped up its vaccination drive among prisoners. “We have vaccinated 99% of the prisoners in the age group of 18 and 44. They have received their first dose of vaccination. All prisoners aged 45 and above have received their first dose of vaccination. They will get their second dose as per the revised vaccination protocols. Some of them may also have received their second dose,” added the prison chief.
The mass vaccination drive has covered convicts and undertrial prisoners in the eligible age brackets. There are over 15,000 prisoners lodged in various prisons in Karnataka.
Of them 2,167 are aged 45 and above. The vaccination drive at prisons is being held with the help of Department of Health and Family Welfare and the district administration.
Meanwhile, following a directive from the Supreme Court on decongesting prisons in the country, 1,120 prisoners have been released since last month in Karnataka, said the prison chief.
“Of the 1,120 prisoners, 625 have been released on bail, 370 on parole and 125 have been released as per the Supreme Court guidelines,” said the DG, Prisons. The latter are life convicts and have completed 14 years in prison.