After at least 10 inmates of Agra Central Jail tested positive for novel coronavirus (Covid-19) following the death of a convict, the authorities are considering to test all the 1,350 prisoners and 112 jail staffers.
Samples of the 12 inmates were collected after a 60-year-old prisoner tested positive on May 6, three days after he was rushed to S N Medical College following complaints of high blood pressure. The inmate, who had also suffered a brain stroke, died on Friday.
District Magistrate of Agra, PN Singh, said that 10 out of the 12 inmates, whose samples were collected, have been found positive for coronavirus. “Now, close contact of prisoners, who have tested positive, will be screened,” he added.
The jail authorities, however, are not clear how the convict and the others got infected as the entry of outsiders were barred since mid-March. Jail staff claimed that entry of outsiders was barred on March 18 and around the same time meeting of inmates with their families was also suspended.
“We have put all the 12 inmates in institutional quarantine inside the jail. It is difficult to trace the main source of the virus. So we are considering to test all the prisoners and the staff members to ensure that the virus does not spread further,” Senior Superintendent of Agra Central Jail, V K Singh, said.
On May 6, three days after a 60-year-old murder convict was sent to S N Medical College for treatment, the inmate tested positive for coronavirus. Jail officials then put 14 other inmates and 10 jail staffers in quarantine inside the jail. Samples of these 24 persons, including inmates and jail staff, were collected and sent for examination. The first report of 12 persons, including two inmates and 10 jail staff, was received on Thursday and turned out to be negative. On Sunday, the district administration said 12 inmates tested positive for coronavirus. According to jail officials, two among these have medical history. However, a retest found that only 10 of the 12 were positive for coronavirus.
Meanwhile, an 85-year-old inmate died during treatment at a government hospital in Agra on Tuesday. Magroor Hussain, who was serving life imprisonment for murder since 2013, was rushed to a hospital after his condition deteriorated. His sample has been collected and sent for coronavirus test.
“Magroor Hussain was a patient of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). He was shifted to jail hospital on May 8 from the barrack where he was staying. On Tuesday morning, Magroor was sent to a hospital outside the jail after his condition deteriorated. During treatment, Magroor died,” said the Senior Superintendent of Agra Central Jail.
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