By Vyshnavy Velrajh
All prisoners who were released on bail from the Boossa prison in Galle during the last 15 days have been requested to immediately report to their relevant area Public Health Inspectors (PHI) or Medical Officers of Health (MOH).
Galle district Regional Epidemiologist Venura K. Singharachchi told Colombo Gazette that the request has been after a remand prisoner who was released on bail on Wednesday (11) had tested positive for COVID-19 while at his residence in Yakkalamulla yesterday (16).
Thirty-eight (38) remand prisoners are reported to have been released on bail from the Boossa prison in Galle from 31st October 2020, but it is suspected that more may have been released.
Venura K. Singharachchi said that on Wednesday (11) five random PCR tests had been conducted on one ward at the Boossa prison following which three inmates were detected to have contracted the coronavirus.
On Friday (13) 132 PCR tests were conducted on the same ward in which 44 patients had been detected.
During 230 PCR tests conducted on Sunday (15), including in two other wards at the prison, 2 persons from the other wards had tested positive.
Singharachchi said that the PCR tests had confirmed that the coronavirus had spread to all three wards at the Boossa prison in Galle.
However, all Police officers involved in detaining the suspect had tested negative and 77 PCR tests conducted on Police Special Task Force (STF) officers at the prison had also returned negative.
The Galle district Regional Epidemiologist further said that as there is a possibility of the virus to spread to the community through the prisoners that have been released on bail during this period, they have been requested to immediately report to their area PHI or MOH officers.
The Prisons and Police Departments have also been instructed to provide a list of names of all remand prisoners who were released on bail from the Boossa, Galle and Kalutara prisons during the last 15 days, he added.
Venura K. Singharachchi said measures will be taken to identify the prisoners on bail, place them in home quarantine for 14-days, and conduct necessary PCR tests in a bid to prevent a spread of the coronavirus within the community.
Meanwhile, another 68 inmates were reported to have been infected with COVID-19 today.
Commissioner General of Prisons Thushara Upuldeniya said that the total number of infected persons in Prisons across the country has increased to 506 as of this morning. (Colombo Gazette)