The number of inmates who contracted the coronavirus disease in Mumbai’s Byculla prison rose to 43 on Sunday. This includes at least four children, who continue to stay with their mothers.
All the inmates who have tested positive for the infection have been shifted to Patanwala quarantine centre in Mazgoan area.
Close to 500 prisoners and staffers have so far been tested, Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation officials told Scroll.in.
The prison holds inmates like Elgar Parishad accused Sudha Bharadwaj, Jyoti Jagtap and Shoma Sen, INX media founder Indrani Mukherjea, who is facing a trial for her daughter Sheena Bora’s murder, and Yes Bank founder Rana Kapoor’s wife and daughters lodged in connection with an alleged fraud case.
Prison officials said all these accused have tested negative for the coronavirus.
On September 17, three prison inmates complained of fever. Subsequent tests founds them positive for Covid-19.
“We carried a high risk and low risk contact assessment and tested 97 inmates and staffers who were in close contact of the three,” said Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation Medical Officer Dr Shailendra Gujar.
At least 36 people tested positive. The prison officials and the civic body tested 250 more people who came in contact with these 36 inmates and found four more positive cases. So far, 43 inmates have contracted the coronavirus.
Officials said a pregnant prison inmate was shifted to Cama and Albless hospital, while 42 others were sent to the quarantine centre.
“We have tested all prisoners,” Gujar said. “The ones now lodged in prison will be monitored for symptoms.”
The Byculla prison has not been declared a containment zone yet. Manish Valanju, assistant commissioner of the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation, said those who test positive will be shifted to the isolation centre.