Covid spreads in Sindh’s jails

Prisons limit inmates' family visits to once in 10 days as cases quadruple

Raheel Salman December 15, 2020

As the pandemic surges across the country, the number of active coronavirus cases in Sindh's prisons has risen from 31 to 112 in a span of 10 days. Given the rise in cases, jail administrations in the province have decided to restrict family visits for inmates to once in 10 days.

Earlier, prisoners were allowed to meet their families twice a week.

The new round of Covid-19 screening among inmates was initiated on the directives of Sindh Prisons IG Qazi Nazeer Ahmed. Despite strict implementation of standard operating procedures (SOPs) to curb the spread of the virus, several more positive cases were detected across the provincial jails.

The new measures have been taken to restrict the inmates' link with the outside world. Prisoners appear before the courts on a daily basis and new inmates are also being brought in the jails, which are already filled beyond capacity.

There are over 18,000 inmates in Sindh's 22 jails, which have a total capacity of 13,000 prisoners. Given the second wave of the virus nationwide, it was inevitable that the virus would rear its head again in Sindh's crowded jails.

According to jail officials, every new inmate is quarantined for 14 days but another round of screenings for current prisoners and jail officials has been initiated. Test reports typically come in two days, add jail officials.

The situation appears to be worst in Karachi's Malir district jail, where 70 positive cases were detected. In Karachi Central Jail, 33 positive cases have emerged, with four of the infected inmates belonging to the Youth Offenders Industrial School. One official of the school also tested positive for the virus.

Meanwhile, as many as three inmates tested positive in Ghotki district jail, two in Hyderabad jail and one in Shikarpur jail.

The provincial jails have managed to limit the spread of the virus by strictly adhering to precautionary measures for the coronavirus.

Published in The Express Tribune, December 15th, 2020.


Honey Bees | 3 years ago | Reply

People in jail should have no rights 

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