To fight against deadly virus COVID-19, Jammu and Kashmir government has set up quarantine and isolation facilities in different prisons across the newly created Union Territory to prevent the spread of the coronavirus disease among jail inmates.
We have set up a quarantine and isolation facility in every prison in J&K. However, our primary concern is the new arrivals. We are regularly issuing updates on new arrivals,” J&K Director General of Prisons, V K Singh, said.
He also said that if a suspect from the new arrivals is found, he is immediately quarantined and kept in isolation by the doctors who always remain present in the jails. “The prisoners are being monitored every day and their body temperature checked by the trained doctors,” DGP Singh said.
The DGP said not only jail inmates but the prison staff is also being monitored and checked for symptoms.
“The prison staff is being provided with the thermal scanners while as both staff and prisoners are being provided with sanitizers, masks while as all jails are being cleaned and sanitized,” he said.
Meanwhile, the prison authorities have also stopped meetings between family members and inmates as a precautionary measure. “Also, we have stopped guest lectures and experts who would frequent prisons for imparting training to prisoners etc,” Singh added.
On demands from various sections of society on shifting Kashmiri prisoners lodged in various prisons out of J&K, the DG prisons said it is the Home Department that has to take a call on it. “When security forces have decided to call off travel, I think it is not feasible to shift prisoners lodged outside at this juncture as travel is the major means of transmitting the virus. Still, department of Home has the prerogative to take a call on this,” added DGP V K Singh
It is pertinent to mention that J&K, Lt. Governor Girish Chander Murmu has declared COVID-19 as an epidemic in Jammu and Kashmir. In Valley, Non-cooperation by suspect patients now a criminal offence, Public entry has been barred in Civil Secretariat, HoD level offices.