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73 inmates +ve, Nabha prison turns hotspot

With 73 inmates, including 39 women, testing positive during a routine check-up today, the new district jail in Nabha has emerged as the latest Covid hotspot of the district.

Now, the total infected persons in the jail stand at 78. The positive inmates had been shifted to a Covid-dedicated jail, said the Health Department. Nabha Senior Medical Officer Dr Dalbir Kaur said: “We first collected samples from the women ward. Now, our teams are conducting more tests at the jail.”

A health official said: “The positivity rate among jail inmates was around 20 per cent, which is very high. So, mass Covid testing is must to curb the spread.” New district jail medical officer Dr Navinder Singh said: “Around 30 per cent of the inmates had mild fever. Besides, some of the inmates who tested positive were going out for court hearings.”

Patiala Civil Surgeon Dr Satinder said women inmates who had tested positive had been already shifted to Malerkotla jail, while male inmates had been isolated at the New Nabha jail itself.

Health officials said it was challenging to control the outbreak in closed environment such as jails because social distancing could not be maintained. Notably, Patiala central jail had turned Covid hotspot last year.

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