Aizawl, May 26: The detection of COVID-19 positive cases in the overcrowded Aizawl Central Jail has sent panic among the inmates and staff of the state's largest prison.
So far, 24 inmates of the Aizawl Central Jail, including a three-year-old girl, have tested positive for the virus, which is a cause of concern for the 576-strong inmates, and prison officials as well.
With no facilities for isolation in the jail, the entire inmates are now in danger of contracting the virus, a jail official said. The source, who did not want to be named, said fresh inmates are quarantined for 15 days before they are put in the prison. "After 15 days are over, they are sent to the wards without testing whether or not they are free from the virus," the source said.
Earlier, there was no screening of inmates. Those inmates brought from court were sent straight to the wards without any screening a few months back, making prisoners worrisome.
He further alleged that PPE, masks and sanitizers were provided to the jail only after positive cases were found in the jail. The Aizawl Central Jail, which has a capacity for 328 inmates, currently houses 576 prisoners. In Aizawl district jail, there are 107 inmates against the capacity of 70 inmates. Other districts' jails are also said to be overcrowded.
Meanwhile, Mizoram today reported its highest single-day spike with 317 new cases even as the state is reeling under lockdown which has entered the fifth week. The new cases, detected from 3,641 samples tested on Tuesday, put the single-day positive rate at 8.70 per cent.
Now, the state's virus caseload rose to 10,937 and the number of active cases to 2,743. Aizawl district reported the highest number of cases at 258, followed by Siaha district with 10 cases. Lawngtlai district reported 26 cases, Kolasib nine cases, Serchhip seven cases, Lunglei three cases, Khawzawl and Mamit reported two cases each.
So far, 8,160 people in Mizoram have recovered from the disease while 34 have succumbed to it.