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NEW DELHI : An official on Sunday informed that an oxygen plant has been newly installed in the premises of Tihar prison. The oxygen plant a hospital here will be made operational in four days.

The official also informed that all dispensaries in the Tihar, Mandoli and Rohini jail complexes of Delhi have been designated as Covid care centres.

Move comes amid an alarming surge in Covid cases in the the national capital.

Medical isolation cells have also been set up for inmates showing slight symptoms of Covid-19. The ones who test positive but are asymptomatic will be kept in separate isolation cells within the same jail complex.

The official further said that all the new inmates will have to undergo quarantine for 10 days and mandatorily undergo the rapid-antigen test as [art of the new Covid curbs introduced in the Jail complexes. 

The 120-bed hospital in Tihar and the 48-bed facility in Mandoli have been converted into Covid Health Centres with the round-the-clock presence of doctors, 50 oxygen concentrators and over 100 cylinders and essential medicines to treat patients.

"However, if the condition of any Covid-positive inmate turns serious, then he or she would be immediately shifted to Guru Teg Bahadur Hospital, Lok Nayak Jai Prakash Narayan Hospital or Deen Dayal Upadhyay Hospital," a senior jail official said.

Inmates are mostly restricted to within their wards and an educational and awareness programme about following Covid norms are carried out regularly, officials said.

The jail administration said they have formed four committees for the inmate and staff who test Covid positive.

These panels have been tasked with looking after the Covid positive inmates if they need further help and guidance.

Sandeep Goel, Director (Delhi Prisons) said, "We are fully prepared to deal with the covid situation. In the first and second waves also, we had taken various stringent measures and that was the reason we could keep the infection rate less and casualties to the minimum. We will also tackle the ongoing pandemic confidently."

"We make a separate barracks for old inmates where we keep few young prisoners along with them. Temperature and oxygen level of these inmates are checked daily and if someone shows any Covid symptom, they are isolated immediately," Goel said.

Social distancing among staff and inmates is being followed to the extent possible, the official informed. 

The total number of prisoners in all the three jails of Delhi Prisons as of 7 January was 18,528. Tihar has a maximum of 12,669 inmates, Mandoli 4,018 and Rohini 1,841.

A total of 34 inmates are Covid positive. Of them, 19 are from Tihar and 15 from Mandoli. Of the 40 staff members infected, 25 are from Tihar, 11 from Rohini and four from Mandoli.

In 2020, a total of 120 inmates of Delhi Prisons tested positive for the Covid, out of which two died. 

In 2021, 383 inmates tested positive and eight of them had died. 

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