92 inmates test positive for COVID-19 in two prisons



Jammu: Ninety-two inmates have tested positive for COVID-19 in two prisons of Jammu and Kashmir, officials said on Monday, and asserted that all the positive cases are asymptomatic and have been isolated in separate barracks.

The latest detection in Udhampur and Kupwara district jails through special Rapid Antigen Test (RAT) screening pushed the active cases among inmates to 115 out of a total of over 4,570 prisoners in all the jails, officials said.

The special drive in the two jails was carried out nearly two weeks after a prominent separatist leader and chairman of Tehreek-e-Hurriyat Mohammad Ashraf Sehrai, who was lodged in Udhampur district jail under Public Safety Act, died of COVID-19 at a government hospital on May 5.

Officials said the highest 72 prisoners and seven staff members tested positive in Udhampur district jail.

A total of 479 inmates were subjected to RAT testing in the jail premises, they said, adding that 20 inmates tested positive for COVID-19 among 272 prisoners in Kupwara district jail.

Officials said all the positive prisoners are asymptomatic and were lodged in separate barracks.

Last year, two elderly prisoners — one each in district jail Rajouri and Sub-jail Bhaderwah — succumbed to the virus, while the rest of the 540 infected prisoners recovered after successful treatment.

Earlier, 21 prisoners tested positive in Kathu district jail on May 10, while one inmate each was tested positive in district jail Jammu and central jail Kotbhalwal Jammu a few days earlier.