Lucknow: Anand Kumar, the Director General of Prisons, Uttar Pradesh, has said that all new inmates across the state would be quarantined for 10 days before being taken inside the jails.
The decision was taken in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.
"It is necessary to screen all new entrants in jails because prisoners live in close proximity and it is important to ensure their safety," Kumar said.
A team of doctors has been assigned to check each prisoner and a special task force was created in all the 71 operational jails in Uttar Pradesh.
A daily report is being monitored at the state headquarters.
Isolation centres and quarantine cells have been set up in the jails where new inmates with symptoms will be quarantined for 10 days.
Older inmates with any COVID-19 symptoms will also be sent to isolation cells. Further tests and reference to chief medical officers for confirmatory tests will follow on the advice of the jail doctor.
"We have quarantine barracks where new entrants are being kept after proper medical inspection. We may shift inmates from jails with full capacity," said Kumar.
Jail superintendents have also been asked to purchase thermal scanners and start using them for those entering the prisons.
"The jail manual has a detailed provision on dealing with prisoners during outbreak of an epidemic, such as restraining the number of visitors. However, it will be at the discretion of the superintendent," he added.