Sajith says transfer of inmates led to COVID-19 cluster at Mahara prison

Sajith says transfer of inmates led to COVID-19 cluster at Mahara prison

Sajith says transfer of inmates led to COVID-19 cluster at Mahara prison

Written by Staff Writer

03 Dec, 2020 | 1:19 pm

COLOMBO (News1st): Opposition leader Sajith Premadasa has said that the transfer of inmates from the Welikada to the Mahara prison had led to the formation of a COVID-19 cluster and the unrest on Monday.

“The parliament has not been informed on how 120 inmates were transferred from the Welikada Prison to the Mahara prison in violation of COVID-19 regulations,” Premadasa said during a debate on Thursday.

He added that the official overlooking health-related matters of inmates was a member of the Viyath Maga movement that is allied to the government.

“We are not trying to politicize this situation. But that is the truth. This is why the cluster was formed ultimately leading to the unrest,” the opposition leader argued.

Justice Minister Ali Sabry said PCR tests to detect COVID-19 have been carried out on 11,500 prisoners out of the total 28541 inmates in Sri Lanka’s prisons.

“Steps have been taken to conduct rapid antigen tests. Antibody tests will be carried out on inmates before they are released from prison. We are carrying out random PCR tests on inmates and prison officers,” he added.

Sabry added that 28 inmates injured during the unrest are receiving treatment at the Colombo North teaching hospital, one at the Colombo National Hospital, and 24 at the Welikada Prison Hospital.

“Two injured officers are receiving treatment at the Colombo North Teaching Hospital,” he noted.

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