Thursday, 19 May, 2022
HomeIndia64 Covid-positive Vadodara jail inmates moved to guest house, many fear there...

64 Covid-positive Vadodara jail inmates moved to guest house, many fear there could be more

Of 68 inmates who tested positive Tuesday, 4 serious cases have been sent to SSG Hospital, while the rest have been isolated at a nearby municipal guest house.

Text Size:

Vadodara: Inmates from Gujarat’s Vadodara Central Jail, who tested positive for Covid-19 last week, have said there is a strong possibility that many more cases will emerge since they live in close quarters and social distancing measures can’t be practised.

Sixty-eight prisoners were found to be infected with the novel coronavirus last week, and some of them told ThePrint that other inmates might also have contracted but are “scared” to reveal symptoms as they don’t know what would happen if they do.

A prisoner, who didn’t wish to be named, said they had probably contracted the virus through constables or workers at the jail. “We don’t even leave the premises, so we must have contracted the virus through constables or karamcharis. One person was tested for the virus since he developed symptoms and it turned out everyone in that quarter also contracted the virus.”

Four of the 68 prisoners Covid-positive prisoners are in a critical condition and have been admitted to SSG Hospital in Vadodara. The rest were shifted Friday to a guest house owned by the Vadodara Municipal Corporation. Located close to the prison, the guest house has been converted into a temporary Covid-19 facility for asymptomatic patients.

Dr Vinod Rao, Officer on Special Duty for Vadodara, told ThePrint: “We have spoken to the jail authorities and have ensured that there is a safe and secure place for their isolation. A separate Covid care centre will ensure that they get proper treatment. At the same time, hospitals won’t be over-burdened by asymptomatic patients who don’t require hospital beds.”

Policemen deployed to secure the guest house where Covid-positive Vadodara jail inmates have been isolated | Photo: Praveen Jain | ThePrint
Policemen deployed to secure the guest house where Covid-positive Vadodara jail inmates have been isolated | Photo: Praveen Jain | ThePrint

Over 30 Vadodara police personnel have been deployed at the facility to provide security and help manage the prisoners. Healthcare workers associated with the SSG Hospital are also present at the facility to monitor patients, in case they develop severe symptoms.

Vadodara has recorded 4,761 cases of Covid-19 so far, of which 974 are active cases. There have been 91 fatalities too.


Also read: Recovering from Covid has felt like escaping death for this 85-year-old in Vadodara


Prisoners demand parole

The prisoners at the guest house told ThePrint that they prefer staying at the facility than the jail, since it is much safer in terms of social distancing.

Salman Pathan, a murder convict who has been in jail for three years, said: “I feel safer in this facility than the jail. In the prison, there are over 50 people in a small enclosed space. If even one person falls sick, all of us fall sick.”

He added: “There is no safety in a jail. Doctors also don’t come to treat us in a prison. They just give us medicines and leave.”

Vadodara jail inmates who tested positive for Covid-19 in isolation at a guest house | Photo: Praveen Jain | ThePrint
Vadodara jail inmates who tested positive for Covid-19 in isolation at a guest house | Photo: Praveen Jain | ThePrint

Vasubhai Patel, an inmate convicted of inciting riots in 2002, said he is very happy with the treatment he is receiving at the facility. He also explained that the authorities have taught the inmates the importance of wearing masks, social distancing and sanitising.

Bharat Kanti, an inmate convicted of rape, said: “Almost 50 per cent prisoners at the jail have the probability of contracting the virus. But they are scared to reveal that they have symptoms.”

Kanti, along with another inmate Jaisingh Garhwal, asserted: “We think that prisoners who contract the virus should be granted parole so that our families can take better care of us.”

Other inmates were also in strong support of being granted parole.


Also read: At Vadodara quarantine facility, patients bid emotional goodbyes to ThePrint journalists


 

Subscribe to our channels on YouTube & Telegram

Why news media is in crisis & How you can fix it

India needs free, fair, non-hyphenated and questioning journalism even more as it faces multiple crises.

But the news media is in a crisis of its own. There have been brutal layoffs and pay-cuts. The best of journalism is shrinking, yielding to crude prime-time spectacle.

ThePrint has the finest young reporters, columnists and editors working for it. Sustaining journalism of this quality needs smart and thinking people like you to pay for it. Whether you live in India or overseas, you can do it here.

Support Our Journalism

Most Popular

×