The total number of COVID-19 patients reported from the prisons increased to 717 by today with the identification of 35 new cases today, Prisons Commissioner Thushara Upuldeniya said.
Addressing the media, he said, cases were reported only in the Colombo prisons at the moment and added that spread of the virus in other prisons had been brought under control.
“No new cases are reported from prisons outside Colombo now. We have successfully controlled the spread of the disease in those prisons. The Welikada Prison is also under control now. Spread of the virus among female inmates have also been mitigated by now,” he said.
He said that cases were earlier reported from the Bogambara Old Prison and Boosa Prisons as they were functioning as centres of quarantine for new prisoners before they were sent to normal prisons.
“People who came from the community as prisoners were sent to Bogambara Old Prison and Boossa Prison for quarantine and they were subjected to PCR tests there. That is the reason why cases were reported from there,” he said.
He said the spread of the disease among inmates was reported only in the Welikada Prison at the moment and added that steps had been already taken to control it now.
“The Director General of Health Services has assigned five Public Health Inspectors (PHIs) to Welikada Prison. We are taking health measures with the supervision of the PHI,” the Prison Commissioner said.
Mr. Upuldeniya said that Director General of Health Services had directed that prisoners in high risk areas should be quarantined for 14-days before being released to the society.
“All high risk prisoners in prisons are sent to quarantine at Pallekele and Weeravila Open Prisons where they will undergo 14-day quarantine period. They will be subjected to PCR test before their release. When prisoners in other areas are released, the respective area PHIs are informed about their release and send them on home-quarantine,” he said.