CHENNAI: Three days after two prisoners in Cuddalore and one in Tiruchy tested positive for the virus, 31 prisoners in Puzhal prison-I and nine from other prisons in the State tested positive on Friday. Police said that samples were collected from atleast 90 inmates, who were in close contact with the trio while they were lodged in the prison for a para-legal training programme.
Across the State samples were collected from more than 500 prison authorities and prisoners. A senior prison official said that around 60 people, who were considered to be in close contact by the three, were isolated though their results turned negative. “Test results came today and 31 from Puzhal Prison and 9 from prisons of other districts have tested positive,” said a prison official.
The prisons department brought 19 prisoners from eight central prisons in the State to Puzhal for a six-week para legal volunteers’ training programme in the second week of March. Including the ones from Puzhal, 34 inmates took part in the programme and after the lockdown, the 19 were shifted to their respective central prisons in the State on May 22.
Of these, two in Cuddalore and one in Tiruchy developed symptoms and their test results came positive on Tuesday, said the prison official. Meanwhile, a 54-year-old prison probationary officer working at the DGP (prisons) office, died of coronavirus on Friday.