MUMBAI: More than 13,000 prison inmates in Maharashtra have so far been vaccinated against coronavirus and the number of active COVID-19 cases among them has reduced significantly, the state government told the Bombay High Court on Thursday.
The high court noted that there had been a “substantial improvement” in prisons of the state in the implementation of steps to curb the spread of COVID-19.
Advocate General Ashutosh Kumbhakoni told a bench of Chief Justice Dipankar Datta and Justice G S Kulkarni that currently, 23,372 inmates are lodged in 47 prisons across the state.
“Out of them, 13,567 inmates had received the anti-COVID-19 vaccine. A total of 3,641 staff members at these prisons had also been vaccinated,” he said.
Kumbhakoni also told the court that the prisons department had implemented recommendations of the state high-power committee on decongesting prisons, and granted interim bail to 2,700 inmates and emergency parole to another 518 inmates.
“We have managed to de-congest prisons to some extent. The rate of vaccination of inmates as well as staff has also increased and this has resulted in a significant reduction in the number of active COVID-19 cases among inmates,” he said.
The bench was hearing a public interest litigation that it had initiated suo motu (on its own) earlier this year to contain the spread of the coronavirus infection among prison inmates.
Noting that there had been a “substantial improvement” in prisons in the implementation of steps to curb the spread of COVID-19, the HC posted the matter for further hearing to July 22.