1,228 more inmates infected at 14 prisons

1,228 more inmates infected at 14 prisons

The Corrections Department's hospital in Chatuchak district. (Bangkok Post file photo)
The Corrections Department's hospital in Chatuchak district. (Bangkok Post file photo)

Another 1,228 inmates at 14 prisons across the country have been diagnosed with Covid-19, says deputy chief of the Corrections Department.

Corrections Department deputy director-general Veerakit Harnpariyan said on Thursday that another 2,054 infected prisoners have fully recovered while 16,319 are under treatment at prison facilities.

On social media reports that a man recently released from the Bangkok Remand Prison where he got infected with the virus disease was found dead on a footpath on May 26, Dr Veerakit explained that the man underwent Covid-19 testing at a Corrections Department hospital before being freed. On May 9, the result showed that he was infected.

The inmate was classified as a patient in the “green’’ category or asymptomatic. The prison had sent him, along with three other infected inmates who were due to be freed on May 11, to seek treatment at public health units in accordance with patient treatment procedures before they were released from jail, said the deputy director-general, who was also spokesman of the department's command centre to tackle the spread of Covid-19.

He said all prisons must undertake Covid-19 tests of all inmates before letting them go in all cases, whether they have served time, were temporarily released or freed on suspended jail terms. In Bangkok and other at-risk areas, prison authorities must send name lists of inmates and dates of their releases to public health offices before letting them go at least five days in advance. 

Inmates who were suspected to have contracted Covid-19 had to be put in quarantine for observation for 14 days before they were freed. If they are infected, they will not be freed, said Dr Veerakit.

Prisoners found infected or receiving treatment are sent to public health units or local hospitals. They would receive treatment until they recovered. Before releasing them, prison authorities had to notify local hospitals to monitor the inmates' condiions for another 14 days.

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