As many as 43 inmates in Udalguri district jail have tested positive for COVID-19. The inmates have been infected with the virus after conducting a Rapid Antigen Test among 176 inmates.
The jails in Assam are witnessing a rise in COVID cases. Earlier, Dibrugarh and Sivasagar jails also witnessed large numbers of inmates being infected with the disease.
The Udalguri district administration has informed that the COVID-19 positive inmates of the jail have been shifted to a COVID Care Centre.
Among the 43 inmates, who tested COVID-19 positive, 35 are under trial prisoners and 8 convicts.
President of Tangla Human Rights Forum, Sailen Kumar Sarmah said: “Right to Health is a fundamental right of prisoners, which is guaranteed by Article 21 of the Constitution of India.”
“Moreover, the Supreme Court has passed guidelines, directing the States to form high power screening committees for de-congestion of prisons,” he added.
Sarmah further said that under trial prisoners who are in for petty crimes must be allowed to walk out of prisons on bails and convicts with parole till the COVID-19 situation improves.
Earlier, as many as 233 inmates in 16 jails of Assam had tested positive for COVID-19 during the second wave.
Out of these 233 cases, 105 were detected from the Sivasagar and Dibrugarh jails.
However, the rate of infection among the inmates in Assam jails is less compared to last year when the pandemic broke.
Recently, the Gauhati High Court had registered a suo moto PIL in regards to vaccination of inmates lodged in different jails of Assam.
Meanwhile, while Assam witnessed a decline in COVID-19 cases, the state registered 5,699 fresh cases of the deadly contagion, the positivity rate on Wednesday dipped to 4.91 per cent.
The overall active caseload of the state has reached 52,884 along with 90 deaths and 6,266 discharges registered yesterday.