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103, including 26 staff, test +ve in Arthur Road jail

103, including 26 staff, test +ve in Arthur Road jail

Mumbai/New Delhi: A total of 103 inmates and staff of Arthur Road jail in Mumbai have tested positive for Coronavirus, Maharashtra Home minister Anil Deshmukh said on Thursday. These include 26 staff members.

Officials said those who tested positive will be shifted to St George and GT Hospital on Friday morning, and have already been segregated within the jail. Earlier, an undertrial and two staffers had tested positive, following which swabs of 150 others were taken in the last two days.

Better known as Arthur Road jail, the Mumbai Central jail is one of the most overcrowded prisons in the country. It currently has 2,600 inmates, against a capacity of only 800.

Officials said steps are being taken to isolate those who have come in contact with these inmates and staffers. However, with social-distancing impossible due to overcrowding, concerns have risen about the jail emerging as an infection hotspot.

The jail has been under complete lockdown since April 9, not allowing new admissions or letting staff from outside enter the premises, given its proximity to Kasturba Hospital, the city's main facility for Covid-19 treatment. The jail had stopped visits from lawyers and family members from March 18.

Maharashtra continues to remain the worst affected state with infection tally crossing the 18,000 mark on Thursday, including 651 deaths.

Meanwhile, India on Thursday crossed the 52,000-mark as 3,561 new cases and 89 deaths were reported in a day. Of the total 52,952 cases, 35,902 are active while 15,267 people have recovered and 1,783 deaths have been registered. With 1,084 new recoveries in the last 24 hours, the rate of recovery has slightly improved to 28.83 per cent from 28.71 per cent, while the death rate is almost constant at 3.36 per cent.

The ICMR has conducted a total of 13,57,413 tests so far, out of which 80,632 tests are conducted in a day at a total of 453 labs, which include 332 government labs and 121 private labs.

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