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Maharashtra’s prisons nearing 800 deaths

The overcrowded prisons are already a challenge to state and above all the numbers of Covid-19 cases across Maharashtra’s prisons are nearing 800 and the death toll stands at four. Meanwhile, 281 inmates and 93 prison staff have recovered till now. Last month, Bombay High Court had said the coronavirus tests being conducted on inmates lodged in jails and correctional homes in Maharashtra were not sufficient. The Nagpur Central Prison is the worst hit, with more than 200 inmates and 57 prison staff infected with the virus. A few days ago, 68 inmates out of the 300 at the Akola District Jail had tested positive for Covid-19.

The first set of cases in Maharashtra’s prisons was reported at the Arthur Road Jail in Mumbai. More than 100 inmates and prison staff were found to be infected. Maharashtra’s prison department said on Friday 596 inmates and 167 prison staff have tested positive for the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) across the state till date.

The People’s Union of Civil Liberties, one of the oldest human rights groups in India, brought to the court’s notice that the number of tests being conducted in jails and correctional homes was terribly low. Maharashtra continues to be India’s worst-affected state by the coronavirus pandemic where the numbers of cases have crossed the 230,000-mark and the death toll stands at 9,667.

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