Lucknow: Amid rising COVID-19 cases in Uttar Pradesh, the Yogi Adityanath government has decided to launch a special drive for administering the vaccines on priority to jail inmates, a rather vulnerable group of people.
Over 450 Coronavirus positive cases have so far been reported from different state and central jails in Uttar Pradesh since the outbreak of Covid-19 pandemic last year. The latest were from Kanpur District Jail where 11 jail inmates tested positive during a random check on March 17.
There are about 1.16 lakh jail inmates housed in 74 district and central jails in Uttar Pradesh. They are the most vulnerable group of people who live in barracks where maintaining social distancing is not possible. What makes the situation more alarming is that most of the jails in the state are bursting with a number of inmates against their housing capacity.
Jail authorities claimed that a single positive case in jail creates havoc as it is not possible to keep him under isolation and maintain social distancing due to paucity of space in the jail as well as in jail hospitals.
A spokesman said that a decision to immunize jail inmates on priority has been taken at the government level and if all goes well then the special drive will be launched in the next few days.
The data of jail inmates is already ready with the Home department and Prison department. The State Health department is coordinating with them to chalk out a plan for launching the drive and expect to complete the immunization of jail inmates in less than a week’s time.
As per the plan, the health department will organize camps in all district and central jails to vaccinate jail inmates within the jail premises. "It should not take more than 3-4 days to complete immunization of all jail inmates with Covid-19 vaccine shots," said the spokesman.