Chandigarh [India], Aug 1 (ANI): The Punjab government converted six jails into special jails for new inmates in order to deal with any situation during the COVID-19 pandemic.
In addition, two more jails in Gurdaspur and Malerkotla have been declared as Level-1 COVID Care Centers of Treatment for COVID-infected Inmates, Jail Minister Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa said.
Randhawa further said that under the 'Mission Fateh' campaign launched by the Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh against the corona pandemic, the jail department was also pulling out all stops to effectively combat the pandemic.
He said that six jails in Punjab have been converted into quarantine jails for new inmates. In the first phase, Barnala and Patti jails were converted into quarantine jails.
In view of the growing COVID-19 cases, Bathinda, Pathankot, Ludhiana and Women Cell Ludhiana have been declared as special jails.
Giving more details, he said that every new prisoner is first sent to these jails where after a full-screening they are kept under quarantine for 14 days. After testing, the inmates are sent to Sangrur Jail where they are quarantined for another 14 days as a precaution. Then they are shifted to other jails as per their capacity if their reports come out negative.
He elaborated that a total of 25 jails in Punjab have a capacity of 23,500 inmates at present and there are 17,000 inmates in the jails. He said that 11,500 prisoners have been released on parole since March following the decision of the high-powered committee to ensure compliance of social distancing norms in the jails as per the directions of the Supreme Court.
The Punjab government had also extended the maximum parole period from 16 weeks by amending the Act for prisoners with good conduct. He said that of the 17,000 prisoners, 9,000 have been tested for COVID and of which 150 have tested positive so far. These prisoners are being shifted to Gurdaspur and Malerkotla jails for treatment. (ANI)
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