Delhi Prisons Department begins vaccination of inmates in 18-45 age group

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New Delhi, May 18 (PTI) The Delhi Prisons Department on Tuesday started vaccination of the inmates in the 18-45 age group against the coronavirus, officials said.

'Hundred inmates in the 18 to 45 age group have been vaccinated on Tuesday in the central jail number 5 at Tihar. A total of 1,472 inmates above 45 years of age have been vaccinated across the three jails since the vaccination drive started,' Director General (Prisons) Sandeep Goel said.

The government allowed vaccination for everyone above the age of 18 from May 1.

Jail officials said that in order to arrest the spread of COVID-19, the process of decongestion of prisons has been initiated.

So far, around 1,000 under-trial prisoners have been released on interim bail. Around 600 convicts have been released on emergency parole after the prisons department received the city government's nod.

'There are more than 19,500 inmates in the three jails. Of them, around 2,500 inmates are above 45 years,' an official had said.

The vaccination drive for the inmates started on March 18.

According to data shared by the Prisons Department, 375 cases of the coronavirus have been reported among the inmates since March 2021. Of them, 318 have recovered and there are 51 active cases. Six inmates died of COVID-19 so far.

Similarly, 213 staff members have tested positive for the virus since March, 2021. Of them, 186 have recovered and 27 are still under treatment, the data said.

In view of the spiralling coronavirus cases in the national capital, the officials said they had taken several measures to contain its spread inside the prisons.

'We have sensitised the inmates about the virus and they have been told to maintain social distancing norms,” an official had said.

The first coronavirus case was reported in Rohini Jail on May 13, 2020. PTI NIT SMN

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