Chandigarh, Aug 1 (PTI) The Punjab government on Saturday said two jails in Gurdaspur and Malerkotla have been converted into COVID care centres to house infected inmates.

Jails in Barnala, Patti, Bathinda, Pathankot, Ludhiana and the women cell in Ludhiana are already being used as quarantine centres for new inmates, Jails minister Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa said in a statement here.

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The minister informed that 11,500 prisoners have been released on parole since March.

At present, there are 17,000 inmates in the state's 25 jails against the capacity of 23,500.

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Of the 9,000 inmates tested for COVID-19 so far, 150 have been found positive. The infected prisoners are being shifted to Gurdaspur and Malerkotla jails for treatment, the minister said.

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