As many as 72 inmates of Arthur Road jail in Mumbai have contracted coronavirus and they will be quarantined separately, Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh said here on Thursday. According to sources, 7 staff members have also tested positive for COVID-19.
Earlier, the state government had isolated eight prisons in the state including the Arthur Road prison, and ordered that no new person will be allowed to enter and those inside, including jail staff, will not be allowed to leave prison during lockdown.
But despite the precautions, 72 inmates of Arthur Road prison were found to have contracted coronavirus after coming in contact with a cook who had caught the infection, Deshmukh told reporters here.
"These prisoners will be quarantined with the help of the Mumbai civic body," he said.
The home minister was speaking to the media after visiting Gadchinchale village in the district where three persons including two monks were lynched by a mob on suspicion of being thieves on April 16.
Deshmukh also said that to prevent the spread of virus in jails, the state government had decided to release on parole some 5,000 prisoners who have been sentenced to less than seven years' imprisonment.