Islamabad reports three deaths, 159 infections in past 24 hours Ombudsman report highlights plight of Covid-19 infected prisoners in jails

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Zubair Qureshi

The office of the Federal Ombudsman (FO) on Friday submitted a report in the Supreme Court in which the plight of Covid-19-infected prisoners was highlighted.
According to the report, hundreds of the virus-infected prisoners are being kept in the country’s jails and the highest number of Covid-19 positive prisoners are currently being kept in Sindh jails (291) followed by KP prisons (126 inmates). In the Punjab jails, however, only three cases of Covid-19 are found, said the report.
The report further point out that except for the jails in Balochistan where 80 Covid-19 infected prisoners are being kept, little attention is being paid to the prisoners’ condition in Sindh or KP. There are no arrangements like separate cells for the positive prisoners.
This is the 8th progress report on a suo motu notice by the Supreme Court on the plight of prisoners in jails. The report was related to the predicament of women prisoners.
In November last year, a three-member bench of the Supreme Court headed by Chief Justice Gulzar Ahmed had issued the directions that the advocate generals of the provinces concerned should ensure implementation on the reports in their respective provinces.
The report submitted by the counsel of the FO also made recommendations regarding better conditions of the jails and proper arrangements about the Covid-19 positive inmates there.
The FO also suggested setting up jails in every district and in Islamabad too, adding that separate cells should be set up for women, minors and drug addicts in the prisons whereas appropriate arrangements should be made for their welfare and education.
The federal capital on Friday reported 159 confirmed cases of Covid-19 in the past twenty-four hours taking the overall tally of cases to 38,842. Three deaths in the same period took the total number of fatalities in the city to 436 caused by Covid-19.