Covid-19 infections at Karachi Central Jail cross 300

Admin worries about prison isolation centre running out of space

Raheel Salman May 23, 2020
KARACHI: The number of coronavirus-infected inmates at Karachi Central Jail has soared past 300. This is despite jail authorities taking measures to curb the spread of the virus after the contagion reared its head in the prison.

On the other hand, according to sources at the prison, the quarantine facility set up on jail premises has the capacity to accommodate 400 persons and given the rapid rise in the number of infected inmates, it may soon run out of space.

Giving the situation, the jail administration is now considering shifting infected prisoners to the isolation centre at the Expo Centre or to hospitals, the sources told The Express Tribune on condition of anonymity. "They are consulting with the home department on the matter," they said.

The sources revealed that over 1,000 persons were being screened for the coronavirus at the prison every day.

Besides prisoners, 20 staff members and a police official at the prison have also contracted the virus.

The outbreak at the prison was reported after an inmate tested positive for Covid-19 on May 11. Following this, seven other prisoners and six of prison staff members suspected of having contracted the virus were tested on May 13. Among them, six prisoners and one staff member were found infected.

By May 15, the number of infected inmates increased to 40 while another staff member tested positive for Covid-19. The very next day, the number of infected prisoner jumped to 204 and that of the staff members to 34. Later, on May 17, 32 more prisoners were diagnosed with Covid-19.

Published in The Express Tribune, May 23rd, 2020.


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