Updated: August 30, 2020 1:22:47 pm
A week after the Calcutta High Court asked the state government to check the spread of Covid-19 in prisons, authorities have started testing inmates through the rapid antigen method.
A senior official of the Jail Department said, “A total of 265 people across all state jails have been infected with Covid-19. Of them, 150 are inmates and the rest are guards and officers. Of the total infected people, fewer than 10 are critical and only two have died so far. We are continuously monitoring the situation and taking necessary steps wherever and whatever is required.”
According to sources, Seuri jail in Birbhum has the highest number of Covid-19 positive patients. Other than Seuri Jail, rapid antigen test has started in Jalpaiguri, Coochbehar and Purulia jail.
A division Bench comprising Chief Justice T B Radhakrishnan and Justice Subhasis Dasgupta asked the state “to keep doing frequent rapid tests to the extent possible in order to make effective identification of Covid-19 patients”.
Amicus Curiae Tapash Kummar Bhanja submitted a report on the Covid-19 situation in prisons.
The HC expressed concern on terminally ill patient after receiving the report.
“Since terminally ill persons, as focused by the Amicus Curiae, require special attention by the correctional home authorities, we direct the Advocate General to obtain a present status of the terminally ill persons and furnish it before this court by the next date fixed,” it said.
The Amicus Curiae also raised the issue of overcrowding in jails.
The Bench said, “We are apprised of the situation that in Correctional Homes, the infection of Covid-19 is getting increased day by day, and sometimes, the officers attached with the correctional homes are also being infected.”
The state government told the court that a small number of inmates had been infected and were in isolation. Those who were critically ill had been sent to hospitals, the state said.
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