SHILLONG/NONGPOH/NONGSTOIN, May 3: The Prison department has no immediate plan to decongest jails across Meghalaya even as the state is grappling with the sudden surge of COVID-19 which is widely being termed as the second wave.
“We are only isolating the new jail inmates by keeping them in a separate room. We are taking this step to ensure that they do not spread the infection of the virus if they are positive,” IG (Prisons), M Kharkrang, told The Shillong Times on Monday.
According to Kharkrang, the new inmates are allowed to mingle with others only if their COVID test result is negative.
Earlier, the IG (Prisons) had informed that the jail authorities have barred the family members of the inmates from visiting them. “We have allowed the jail inmates to communicate with their family members by way of telephone calls,” he had said.
Replying to a query, Kharkrang informed that they had written to the Health department last week about making arrangements in order to vaccinate jail mates across all jails.
Earlier, it was decided in a meeting between Health Minister AL Hek and Inspector General (Prisons) M Kharkrang that all inmates across state jails would be vaccinated and the process will begin from Shillong District jail initially.
It may be recalled that a large number of undertrial prisoners were also released on parole to decongest the jails during the first wave of the COVID-19 last year.
As per the directive of the apex court, the state government had constituted a high powered committee last year to examine on the matter of releasing prisoners on bail, interim bail, and parole.
LP, UP schools in WKH to remain shut till May 23
In view of the spurt of COVID-19 cases in the state and keeping in mind the welfare of the district, West Khasi Hills Deputy Commissioner has directed the District School Education Officer to close down all lower and upper primary schools till May 23.
However, secondary and higher secondary schools may function with 50 per cent seating capacity with strict protocol, the DC said in the directive.
Micro containment zones
More houses in Ri Bhoi have been declared as micro containment zone by the Deputy Commissioner, RM Kurbah.
In Umjarasi village, houses of Queentina Lyngdoh, Victoria Lyngdoh, Sophia Lyngdoh and Robina Lyngdoh were declared as micro containment zone till May 6. In Nongdiengngan, houses of Arnold Damia, Iongba Shadap, Stephanon Kharkongor, Hamebantei Shadap, Lila Shadap, Pinky Shadap, Diamin Thangkhiew and Hamlet Makdoh were declared as micro containment zone from May 3 to May 8.