Family members of inmates lodged in Mandoli jail have alleged lack of social distancing and medical care inside the premises.

Jail authorities, however, have denied such allegation and assured that they are fully prepared to deal with any situation.

On Sunday, 70-year-old Mahender Yadav, a former MLA from Palam constituency, who was lodged in jail no. 14 of the prison, died of COVID-19.

Another convict, Kanwar Singh (62), who died last month and had tested positive for the virus, was also lodged in jail no. 14.

Yadav’s son Raghuvindra Yadav said the jail authorities did not take care of his father and also did not inform the family about his admission to hospital after he tested positive for the deadly virus.

“The jail authorities did not give him proper and timely medical help. I kept requesting them to shift my father to a private hospital but they delayed it and by the time he was shifted to a hospital in Dwarka, his health deteriorated,” Mr. Raghuvindra said.

Mohammad Abdul, a relative of inmate Salman, said he has not met his son-in-law for the last three months since meetings have been suspended in jail till next notice because of the outbreak situation.

“Over the phone, my son-in-law told me that things are not better inside the jail. He said the barracks are overcrowded and no one follows social distancing. Doctor visits are not regular. I am worried about him. I have applied for his bail… let us see what happens,” said Mr. Abdul.

Director General (Prisons) Sandeep Goel refuted any such allegations and said that facilities in Mandoli jail are much better than in other prisons.

Isolation ward

“We have converted two barracks into isolation ward to meet any situation. We are following ICMR guidelines and taking extra care of barracks meant for senior citizens. The inmates, who tested positive, have been shifted to a separate barrack,” he said.

Whenever any inmate tests positive for the deadly virus, he is either treated inside the premises or is shifted to a hospital, depending on health condition, he added. “The doctors regularly visit barracks to screen inmates. If any inmate complains of any COVID-19 symptom then the inmate is immediately shifted to an isolation ward,” said Mr. Goel.

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