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233 inmates in 16 Assam jails are Covid positive: IG (Prisons)

233 inmates from 16 of Assam’s 31 prisons are currently undergoing care after testing positive for Covid-19, a top prison official said.

According to Inspector General of Prisons Barnali Sharma, about 3,000 inmates were poisoned during the first outbreak of the Covid pandemic and all of them recovered.

“In comparison to the first wave of the pandemic, the condition in the second wave’s jails is totally under control,” the IG (Prisons) said.

She claimed that 54 of the 233 Covid-positive detainees are housed in Dibrugarh Central Jail, the largest amount.

Among the 54 Covid patients, a top official of the outlawed United Liberation Front of Asom-Independent (ULFA-I), Jiban Moran, tested positive for the virus a few days ago. Moran is a close aide to the outfit’s Commander-in-Chief Paresh Baruah.

“At the moment, the Dibrugarh Central Jail houses 530 prisoners. 54 people have been contaminated with Covid-19 in the last two days. Inmates who tested positive have been placed in segregation throughout the jail complex “Sharma confirmed this to IANS over the phone.

She stated that as a result of several measures taken, including the release of several prisoners during the disease’s second outbreak, a smaller number of inmates became contaminated with the coronavirus.

Rapid Antigen Testing was conducted in all 31 jails in the state, isolation facilities were created, and medical care facilities were strengthened.

“We have released several prisoners on parole, PR Bond (personal recognizance bond), and temporary bail in accordance with Supreme Court, Gauhati High Court, Union Home Ministry, and state government directives,” Sharma added.

According to the official, a state-level committee chaired by a Gauhati High Court judge will meet on Thursday to address the current state of affairs in Assam’s 31 jails, including six central jails.

In response to the Supreme Court’s order, various state governments throughout the northeastern area have taken many measures, including the interim release of thousands of undertrial detainees, to halt the spread of coronavirus in jails.

Over the last 24 hours, Assam has recorded 5,835 new Covid cases and 73 deaths.

Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said the second wave’s effect on Assam has been “highly severe,” and the state’s medical infrastructure, including oxygen production, is being improved further.

The number of active cases in Assam increased to more than 46,393 late Tuesday night, up from 25,027 on May 1.

Assam has so far recorded 3,40,858 Covid incidents, with 2,344 deaths.

Of Assam’s 34 districts, five have a particularly dire situation: Kamrup Metro, where the active case count stood at 921 on Tuesday night, followed by Nagaon (451), Dibrugarh (445), Kamrup Rural (410), and Cachar (410). (355).

Guwahati, Assam’s capital and the northeastern region’s commercial center, is located in the Kamrup Metro area.

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Written by Ankur J Kakoti

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