Delhi prisons come to terms with post-Coronavirus world

New Delhi: COVID-19 has changed many things - including life in the prisons of Delhi. From limiting the entrance of new inmates to decongesting jails to isolating staff, Delhi prisons are gradually coming to terms with the new normal in the post-Corona virus world.

While speaking to the Millennium Post on ways to control the spread of COVID-19, Sandeep Goel, DG (Delhi Prisons) said, "More the education among the people (staff and inmates) about the disease, better are the measures to control the spread." According to data, since COVID-19 outbreak, 20 cases (16 inmates, 4 staff) were reported from the prisons, of which 11 have now recovered.

"We are restricting the movements of inmates only to their barracks so that if COVID-19 is reported, we can easily conduct contact tracing and immediately we provide treatment. Inmates cannot go to other barrack or form any kind of group and if they come out of their barracks, they must wear the mask and maintain social distancing," he said. Speaking about safety precautions for staff, the DG said, "Staff have been told that if they have influenza-like symptoms, they should inform senior officers and then go to the doctor for further treatment and take rest."

According to officials, staff have also been told that if they have any family members working as a nurse, doctor or any frontline jobs and have been prescribed home isolation, then the staff should inform prisons authorities so that they can also be sent for isolation. "Few such cases happened in which we have sent staff for isolation after their family members were told to do so."

According to Tihar authorities, 3,573 undertrial prisoners (UTPs) and convicts have been released on interim bail or parole or remission of sentence. Around 14,000 inmates are currently in prisons and every week they get a chance to call and speak to their families. " Entry of new inmates has been restricted to Tihar (jail number 2) and Mandoli (jail number 15) and Rohini was closed for entry of any new inmate. They are quarantined for 14 days and if symptoms come, medical tests are being conducted. Nearly 60 tests have now been conducted," the official said.

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