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Tamil Nadu has vaccinated nearly 30 percent of the prisoners who have been lodged in jails across the state as part of the safety protocols to contain the spread of the virus. There are as many as 4,297 convicts and the prison department aims to innoculate all of them.
According to The Hindu, a majority of the prison staff had taken the jab to remove the hesitation amongst the convicts and detainees. Additionally, awareness sessions were also conducted on the efficacy and importance of the vaccine.
Special camps were organised by jail authorities in coordination with local bodies to administer the vaccine to inmates and prison staff. Masks, sanitiser, and soaps were made available at all times for the inmates.
Director-General of Prisons, Sunil Kumar Singh said, "Since August 2020 all new inmates are being tested and quarantined before they are shifted to Central prison."
The publication reported that at least 198 prison staff had tested positive and were undergoing treatment in various hospitals.
"The prison staff are frontline workers, and ours is an essential service, too. They [the staff] are exposed to risks when they deal with new prisoners," Singh said.
More than a lakh of prisoners had been released on bail since March 21, 2020, with 43,876 on personal surety.
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