Bhubaneswar: Concerned over the rising number of inmates in several jails contracting COVID-19, Odisha Police on Monday prepared a blueprint to combat the virus.
The following decisions were taken after a video conference involving Director General of Prisons Santosh Upadhyay with all senior officers of Prisons Directorate and jail superintendents and Range DlGs.
— The medical officer, Circle Jail at Choudwar was appointed as nodal officer to guide other jail superintendents and medical officers of all jails for preventive treatment as well as treatment of COVID 19 inmates.
— As all jails do not have medical officers, the jail superintendents were advised to take full assistance of local sub-divisional medical officers (SDMOs), chief district medical officers (CDMOs), sub-collectors and municipal commissioners towards the testing of inmates and subsequent treatment of COVID positive prisoners at COVID care centre as per the protocol issued by Health Department.
— Critical patients were advised to be sent to COVID hospitals with medical support and in police escort.
— The jail superintendents were requested to move concerned remanding magistrates and their UTRCs (Under-Trial Review Committees) with the District Judge as chairman for urgent decongestion of jails.
— The State Legal Services Authority was requested to consider further decongestion of the jails by the grant of parole to similarly placed convicts as well as for consideration of the prisoners over 60 years and inmates having comorbidities.
— All UTRCs shall review the capacity of the jails in their districts and shall take appropriate steps to decongest the prisons (as instructed by the high power committee).
— The State Police headquarters has also been requested to ensure decongestion by following the instruction of the apex court.
The nodal officer on COVID implementation in jails and doctor of Choudwar jail asked all jail superintendents to ensure that prisoners wear double masks, maintain social distancing and follow COVID-appropriate behavior. They also told them to ensure that the prisoners be tested and treated as per COVID protocols.