LAHORE                  -         Provincial Minister for Law, Parliamentary Affairs and Social Welfare Raja Basharat has said that on the directions of Chief Minister Punjab Sardar Usman Bazdar, measures have been taken to prevent coronavirus in all the prisons of the province and screening of prisoners has been done and where necessary, PCR test is also arranged.

He said in a statement that a transfer plan had been set to shift 3,500 prisoners from overcrowded jails to the others enabling maximum social distancing. He said that the total number of prisoners in Punjab at present is 45,535 of which the number of under-trial prisoners is 25,708 and of them 713 are female prisoners.

The minister said that the newly arriving prisoners were tested and kept in the quarantine centre for 14 days. He said that the corona counters had also been set up at the entrance gates besides setting up Corona wards in all the district jails of Punjab where all visitors were allowed to enter after strict checking.

Raja Bashart said that all medical staff in the jails had been given special training to deal with coronavirus and had been provided with personal protection kits. He said that as soon as the coronavirus was exposed, prisoners’ meetings and court appearances were immediately banned. He said that staff on duty in prisons wete not allowed to go out of premises. No prisoners are allowed from one barrack to another and gatherings were strictly prohibited, he maintained. He said prison staff and detainees had also been informed of coronavirus preventive measures in accordance with World Health Organization guidelines.