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More than 50 jail inmates, 11 staffers under treatment for coronavirus in Delhi

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New Delhi, Apr 14: Over 60 inmates and 11 staff members in the three prison complexes of Delhi are presently undergoing treatment for COVID-19, officials said on Wednesday. "A total of 190 inmates have tested positive for COVID-19 so far," Director General (Prisons) Sandeep Goel said.

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According to the data shared by officials, the number of active COVID-19 cases in Delhi prisons till Wednesday stands at 78, including 11 jail staff members.

"Of the 190 positive cases, 121 inmates have recovered and two have died, leaving 67 active cases. A total of 304 prison staff contracted the infection so far. Of them, 293 have recovered and 11 are still under treatment," Goel said.

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The 11 COVID positive staff includes a jail superintendent of Mandoli Jail and two jail doctors of Tihar Jail, he said. The first case of coronavirus was reported in Rohini Jail on May 13. Two COVID-19 positive inmates of Mandoli Jail died on June 15 and July 4. Both were senior citizens.

The officials had said ever since the outbreak of the pandemic in March last year, the Prisons Department remained vigilant and instructed its staff to not only maintain hygiene and social distancing among themselves but also spread awareness about the infection among inmates in the three jail complexes.

With 52 inmates testing positive, Tihar jail on high alertWith 52 inmates testing positive, Tihar jail on high alert

A total of 1,184 convicts and around 5,500 under-trials were released last year under the department's decongestion drive amid the pandemic outbreak. Earlier, the prison officials had said the situation could be more difficult to manage when the inmates, who were granted parole during the pandemic outbreak last year, would return.

There are a total of 18,900 inmates in the Delhi Prisons comprising Tihar, Rohini and Mandoli jails. However, the intake capacity is just 10,026 inmates, the officials had said.

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    The number of prisoners will pass the 20,000-mark as more inmates will come after their emergency parole ends, they had said. The vaccination process in the jails is underway.

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