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All jailbirds to get Covid jab by May first week

The prisons department has rolled out measures to vaccinate inmates of all jails in the state  against Covid-19 before mid-May.

Published: 23rd April 2021 06:02 AM  |   Last Updated: 23rd April 2021 06:02 AM   |  A+A-

For representational purposes

Express News Service

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. 

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