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148 inmates in Siraha prison test positive for COVID-19 in a single day



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By Jibachha Yadav and Santosh Subedi, Lahan, Sept. 15: As many as 148 inmates in Sirha district prison has been found infected with the novel coronavirus on Tuesday alone.

Swabs of 597 prisoners including two dependents were collected a few days back and of them reports of 346 have been received so far. Out of reports of the 346 inmates, 248 have tested positive which also includes today's new cases of 148.

With the whooping rise in number, Siraha jail seems to have turned into a hotspot due to negligence in the beginning.

Capacity of the prison is 150 persons, 135 males and 15 females. But, there are nearly 600 inmates and due to lack of space, they need to live in an extremely congested way.

Babita Mahato, chief of the prison, said that the arrangement was made for keeping the infected separately under the plain sheet truss made on the roof of the prison house.

Infection of the virus was seen in four accused sent for judicial custody on theft and murder attempt charges on August 9. In the contact tracing of 30 persons done just after, 3 inmates had tested positive.

Then arrangement was made for conducting PCR test of all inmates. When report of 100 inmates came as the first lot, 78 were found infected, said chief of the prison Yadav.

Dev Kumar Yadav, member of district Corona crisis management committee, blamed for laxity on the part of prison management and said that if the detainees brought from outside were kept in quarantine for precaution before mixing them with others, spread of the virus would have been under control.

Relatives of the jailbirds are infuriated accusing the prison management for neglecting health of those in the cell. There is only one auxiliary health worker, Bindesor Yadav, for the treatment of those infected in the prison.

Although the district health office has deployed a four member team led by a doctor to look after the infected in the prison, the team is supposed to visit the infected or the prison only when the jail administration invites the team.


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