Mumbai: Around 39 women inmates lodged in Byculla women prison cell along with their six kids were found positive for Covid-19. Sources from the Maharashtra prison claim women inmates with illness and pregnant women, including kids usually visit the JJ hospital for check-up and treatment. Meanwhile, the court hearing on the cases has also started. The prison staff says that this could have been one of the reasons as inmates must have come in contact with someone outside having Covid-19 and thus it spread inside the jail.
The Byculla women prison presently has around 312 women inmates and 10 kids. Sources from the prison department said on September 18 and 19, one of the women inmates and a few kids had a high fever. “These were those who used to visit the JJ hospital for health check-ups. An RT-PCR check-up of the ill woman was taken out and results showed positive symptoms of the disease. As precautionary measures, we then carried out a test for around 120 women inmates and found around 39 women inmates and six kids were tested positive for covid-19,” said a police official from Byculla women prison.
Sources from the prison said that prisoners who tested positive for covid-19 were moved to Patanwala Urdu school in Byculla which is a temporary covid center for the inmates.
“Among the 39 hardly four to five women inmates and one or two kids were suffering from fever, while the remaining were tested positive with some symptoms. They are undergoing treatment. However, the movement of new inmates coming to Byculla jail is stopped because of the pandemic. Any new inmates sent through the magistrate or judicial custody are first sent to the temporary cell. She goes through tests and check-ups and once the female inmate is fit showing no symptoms, she is then sent inside the jail,” said the police official from Byculla jail on condition of anonymity.
Yashwant Fad, superintendent of Byculla jail confirmed that at least 39 women inmates and six kids tested positive last week and that all of them have been shifted to temporary jail i.e, and municipal school in Byculla.
In April 2021, Indrani Mukerjea, arrested in connection with the murder of her daughter Sheena Bora, was tested positive along with 39 inmates. Sources from the prison department claim Mukerjea is safe this time.