THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The prisons department has rolled out measures to vaccinate inmates of all jails in the state against Covid-19 before mid-May. During the first leg of the mammoth exercise, vaccination of prisoners above 45 years will be completed this month while the rest will get their first jab by May first week.DGP Prisons Rishi Raj Singh had met the home secretary and the health secretary recently to press the demand and their response was favourable, according to a source.
As a precursor, inmates of Kollam district prison were vaccinated last week. Around 140 inmates received vaccines in Kollam, while the exercise has been set in motion in other prisons in the state. Prisons Headquarters DIG Santosh S said that all the prisoners irrespective of their age will be inoculated. He said that both the undertrials and convicts will be given vaccines and those who are released from jail before the second shot can get the jab from outside.
“If not for the vaccine shortage, we would have already vaccinated all the prisoners. Now, due to the efforts of the DGP, we are rapidly moving forward and will wrap up the exercise by May first week,” he said. Though prisons in the state remain congested, there was no major outbreak among prisoners.
There are about 6,000 prisoners in the state and half of them were tested for Covid following the second wave of the pandemic. Of these, fewer than 25 people had tested positive. DIG Santosh S said that Ernakulam district prison reported the maximum number of positive cases-- 16, while Ernakulam sub-jail had three cases. Open prisons in Cheemeni and Nettukaltheri recorded one case each, while Kannur had two.
UAE ISSUES TRAVEL BAN ON PASSENGERS FROM INDIA
T’Puram: The UAE has issued a travel ban on passengers from India to that country with effect from Saturday midnight. Passengers from India through other countries (transit) are also not allowed to enter UAE unless they were staying 14 days in other countries. However, departure flights from Dubai to India and cargo flights continue to operate. UAE citizens, diplomatic passport holders, official delegations and flights of businessman are exempted from curbs. The exempted categories of people should go for 10-day quarantine and PCR test on their arrival in UAE.