Bhubaneswar, September 3 (LocalWire): The State Government’s new directive to curb the spread of COVID-19 in jails has made it mandatory for the accused to undergo a COVID test before appearing in a court hearing.
Special Secretary Santosh Bala has sent a directive in this regard to jail officials.
COVID test of an accused is mandatory after the police arrest a person and before he is taken to the court. Accused should be tested via RT-PCR test or Rapid Antigen test.
COVID tests are mandatory for all accused in a government hospital before being taken to court or being remanded in custody by police, evacuation, forest department or vigilance officials.
It will be recorded if accused person(s) is showing COVID symptoms, and if found to be positive, they will be shifted to a government COVID hospital. The person will be transferred to jail once he recovers.
Even if the report is negative, the arrested person will be kept in isolation in jail.
CDMOs have been asked to ensure COVID test of prisoners amidst tight security at various locations.
Prisoners will also be presented before court in virtual hearings as chances of infection on their being present physically are greater.
If an inmate is being admitted to a COVID hospital, security guards will be deployed to look after them and PPE kits will be provided to these security guards.
The directive states that even if a prisoner recovers in a COVID hospital and is sent to prison, he shall remain in isolation and the security personnel shall quarantine themselves for 14 days.