The Maharashtra government on Friday informed the Bombay High Court that all inmates in state prisons will undergo thermal screening every day. It also told the court that 36 temporary prisons across 27 districts will be used as quarantine facilities and Covid care centres and necessary arrangements will be made for the same.
The government said separate arrangements will be made for inmates above 60 years of age, who are more vulnerable to coronavirus infection, so that they do not come in contact with other inmates. They will also be checked for comorbid conditions, the government told the court.
On Friday, Advocate General Ashutosh Kumbhakoni also submitted a draft of modifications in measures to be undertaken in prisons in view of Covid-19 pandemic. “It has become necessary to modify and consolidate the instructions/guidelines issued earlier, for the effective handling of the spread of coronavirus cases in prisons across the state,” the draft stated.
The court was also informed that collectors of 27 districts have declared 36 locations as temporary prisons and steps were being taken to declare similar places as temporary jails in other districts to be used as quarantine centres and Covid care centres.
The government also informed the court that at present 28,950 inmates were lodged in 60 jails across Maharashtra, including 22,588 undertrials (21,525 male and 1,063 female) and 6,362 convicts (6,116 male and 246 female).
The division bench of Chief Justice Dipankar Datta and Justice K K Tated then asked the petitioners, People’s Union for Civil Liberties, to submit by Saturday their recommendations on the state’s draft and posted the matter for further hearing on June 23.
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