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How did Corona enter Doon District Jail?

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By Arun Pratap Singh
Dehradun, 25 Jul: It is surprising that Corona virus managed to find its entry into the highly secluded place like Dehradun District Prison in Suddowala. To begin with, over 50 prisoners have been tested and while 39 test reports are still awaited, 6 prisoners have already been found to be Corona positive. All those found infected are from a single barrack. In all 85 persons were in the same barrack and all of them are being tested. This incident should be a matter of serious concern for the state government as well as the district administration. As an interim measure, all from this barrack are being shifted elsewhere in the prison, while those already detected with Corona infection have been shifted to Doon Hospital which is the Corona designated hospital in the district! It is learnt that one of the Corona patients had been brought to Coronation Hospital on 15 July for cardiac checkup and consultation. The big question is whether this patient contracted the disease at Coronation Hospital! If yes, then the things can be far more serious at Coronation Hospital itself!
Sources said that all the prisoners as well as the security staff are in a state of panic following the detection of Corona cases inside the prison. Usually there is hardly any travel history of prisoners and they are usually brought out of the prison only for court hearings and for medical treatment or checkups in case of any health issue. These days, courts are not functioning in usual mode and therefore few of any prisoners are brought to courts for hearing. Hence it is a big question, how the prisoners managed to contract the infection? Though all detected Corona positive were from the single barrack but the possibility of other prisoners too from other barracks having infection can’t be discounted. Therefore all the prisoners and the jail staff needs to be tested for Corona infection at the earliest. The Jail administration has decided to shift all from the barrack to another place and get the barrack sanitised. But question remains if that would be an effective way to stop spread of the pandemic. The jail authorities have claimed that all the prisoners would be tested, though it remains to be seen how soon that is done.
According to health and social activist Anoop Nautiyal who is actively engaged in data analysis of Corona pandemic in the state, in past seven days, over 53 percent of the Corona positive cases are contact cases. In Dehradun, 43 percent of the cases are contact cases while in Haridwar over 80 percent cases are contact cases. It means that these people do not have any travel history but have contracted the disease by coming in contact with Corona patients. This is a significant number and an indication of local spread of the pandemic. Nautiyal says that the administration and the Police have a tough task at hand given the current situation towards curbing contact transmission of the pandemic. Therefore it becomes all the more necessary to increase testing and ensure early declaration of test results particularly in Dehradun, Haridwar, Nainital and US Nagar districts.
On Saturday, yet another time, more than 200 fresh cases of Corona were reported. Out of 244 cases reported on Saturday, 72 were from Dehradun, while 61 were from Haridwar. 6396 test reports are still awaited.
All measures being taken to prevent spread among prisoners: Prasad
Speaking to Garhwal Post, ADG Prisons, PVK Prasad said that seven Corona positive cases were reported from Dehradun prison. All those who tested positive were sent to the Hospital. He said that the prison had quarantine facility available for those who had to travel for any reason. He added that all the prisoners would be tested and claimed that all precautions were being taken to prevent any further transmission in the jail and among the prisoners.