Seven inmates at the Bogambara Prison transit centre test positive for Covid

ECONOMYNEXT – Seven inmates of a transit centre for transferring prisoners in Bogambara in have tested positive for the Covid 19 virus and have been admitted to the Welikanda Prison hospital officials said today.

The Commissioner of Prisons (Administration) Chandana Ekanayake told EconomyNext these inmates were not in the main Prison which is now located at Pallekelle, away from the city of Kandy.

Part of the old prison, which was earmarked to be developed into a Mall, has been turned into a “transit centre where Prisoners brought from other areas are isolated for two weeks,” he said.

With these seven prisoners, the total number of inmates Sri Lankan prisons who have been diagnosed as Covid positive comes to 37.

Thirty patients have been found at the country’s largest jail – Welikada – which houses around 4,500 inmates in a facility designed for 2,000.

The Prison and Health authorities are concerned about the Welikada jail in particular because of the overcrowding and in a situation where a highly contagious and potentially fatal virus is active there could be disastrous consequences.

The Commissioner-General of Prisons Thushara Upuldeniya told EconomyNext this morning that he believes the outbreak is confined to a single Ward of the Welikada Prison.
(Colombo, November 7, 2020)

Reported by Arjuna Ranawana

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