HYDERABAD: In view of the surge in Covid-19 cases and the Supreme Court’s directions to decongest the prisons, the Telangana State Prisons Department has sent proposals to the State government to release 300 out of 2,000 eligible convicts on parole.
The three Central jails in the State are almost full and there is a pressing need for decongestion.
For instance, the Cherlapalli Central Prison has a capacity to house 1,980 prisoners and as on Wednesday, it had 1,969 inmates. According to sources in the department, the situation in the other two Central jails is also similar.
At present, there are 25 inmates undergoing treatment at the Gandhi Hospital, Secunderabad. Likewise, some more prisoners with moderate symptoms are undergoing treatment at MGM Hospital, Warangal. However, the Prison Department officials claim that the situation in the jails across the State is under control.
“I strongly feel that jails are much better equipped when it comes to keeping the virus under check. We have sufficient kits to test prisoners with Covid-like symptoms and conduct required tests on a daily basis. We have also been monitoring the oxygen level and body temperature of all convicts twice a day,” said an officer from the Prisons Department, on the condition of anonymity.
He added that the prison authorities were segregating Covid-19 patients and suspected cases from others.
Where does the Prison Department stand in terms of Covid-19 vaccination? Almost 99 per cent of Prison Department staff, and the convicted prisoners above the age of 45, except those who are ineligible to take the vaccine, have been vaccinated. Around 30 per cent of patients in the 18 to 45 year age group have also been vaccinated, official sources said.