Strict implementation of SOPs demanded after first COVID-19 prisoner dies in Adiala Jail

By: Faizan Ali Warraich      Published: 01:58 PM, 11 May, 2020
Strict implementation of SOPs demanded after first COVID-19 prisoner dies in Adiala Jail

Faizan Ali Warraich

Justice Project Pakistan, an NGO working for the rights of prisoners, stressed on Monday for reducing prison population and implementing strict Standard Operating Procedures only way to prevent more deaths inside our ‘grossly overcrowded jails’ in Pakistan.

“Pakistan crossed 100 cases of Covid-19 among prisoners across the country and it also reported the first casualty of the virus from Adiala Jail,” JPP said in a tweet.

JPP told 24NewsHD a prisoner Sanaullah suffered a cardiac arrest early on Saturday of Adiyala Jail who later rushed to Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (PIMS) Islamabad but died on the way and turned out to be a COVID-19 patient.

In March, Amnesty International and Justice Project Pakistan (JPP) on Tuesday issued a joint statement and urged authorities to ensure necessary measures are taken to protect prisoners amid COVID-19 outbreak.

Amnesty issued the statement after an inmate at Camp Jail Lahore has tested positive for COVID-19 who was arrested in Italy, one of the worst-hit countries by the disease. After his deportation to Pakistan, he was taken to different barracks of the prison that houses at least 3,500 inmates.

There are 114 jails in Pakistan with 77,275 prisoners against the capacity of 57,742 inmates. A vast majority of the prison population is of under trial prisoners who have not been convicted of a crime.

In Punjab, there are 2,100 prisoners with physical ailments, 2400 prisoners with contagious diseases like HIV, TB and Hepatitis, 600 prisoners with mental illness and 66 prisoners with disabilities.

Moreover, there are 108 vacant posts of medical officers in Pakistan’s prisons, 58 vacant posts of psychologists in Pakistan’s prisons and 10 per cent Punjab do not have ambulances.

According to Primary and Secondary Healthcare department May 10 data, there are 86 prisoners in COVID-19 prisoners in quarantine.