As many as 81 inmates and three staffers from Sangli District Prison have tested positive for coronavirus disease (Covid-19). Authorities said swab tests of 100 inmates and staff were conducted on Saturday, results of which were obtained on Monday morning.
With the addition of 81 cases from Sangli prison, the total number of Covid-19 cases in prisons across the state is now above 850, nearly 220 of which are active cases as on Monday. The Maharashtra Prison department has started conducting random tests among inmates and staff in the prisons, following directives from the Bombay High Court. As many as 270 prison staffers have tested positive across the state, of which 50 are active cases as on Monday.
On Saturday, 94 inmates and six staff members from the men’s and women’s prisons of Sangli were tested. Their test results were obtained on Monday, and 81 inmates, including three women and 78 male inmates, and three staffers turned out to be Covid positive
Officials said they were verifying whether any inmates, who are high-risk contacts of these 81 Covid positive inmates, have been released on bail in the recent past as part of the ongoing prison decongestion process. Authorities said these inmates will be contacted or traced if needed and will be tested. The Sangli prison’s current population, as on Sunday, was 319, as against the official capacity of 235.
Like most districts in the state, a temporary prison had been designated in Sangli on the campus of a school in May. Following directions of the state Home department, another school has recently been earmarked as an isolation facility and Covid care centre for the inmates. The inmates who have tested positive have been isolated on the campus of the school, officials said. In the coming days, more inmates and staff from Sangli jail will be tested.
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines