44 inmates test COVID-19 positive in Anantnag Jail

Coronavirus - COVID-19 Test

SRINAGAR — At least 44 inmates have been tested positive for coronavirus in Anantnag district jail so far, officials said.

Officials said that 44 inmates have been tested for coronavirus at Anantnag district jail for last few days.

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“Four were tested positive till Sunday. Today reports of more inmates came. Among them, 39 have been found positive,” the official added.

These have been detected days after one jail inmate, booked under PSA in Anantnag prison, was tested positive, following which he was shifted to GMC Anantnag. He happens to be younger brother of JKLF founder Mohammad Maqbool Bhat.

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Afterwards, the authorities collected samples of inmates for COVID-19 testing.

Kuldeep Krishan Sidha, District Development Commissioner Anantnag, confirmed that 44 inmates have been tested positive so far. “We have collected samples of all inmates and are taking all precautionary measures. So far, 44 have been tested positive,” he added.

DIG Prisons, Mohammad Sultan Lone earlier said that the screening was being held as a measure of precaution.

Bhat’s brother was shifted to Anantnag jail in March this year from sub-jail Kupwara.

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Family members of prisoners are worried over their safety. “Jails are overcrowded here. We have been asking the government to release them on humanitarian grounds till the COVID threat is over. If inmates have been tested positive then others might also have been infected,” a relative of one of the prisoners, lodged in Anantnag jail, said.

Human rights activists have also urged the government to release prisoners on humanitarian grounds. They said epidemic could put the prisoners’ lives at stake.

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