Shillong: Meghalaya Inspector General of Prisons, M Kharkrang on Tuesday, wrote to the state government regarding a vaccination drive for inmates.

Kharkrang met the Meghalaya health minister and apprised him of the need to get the inmates vaccinated. He added that there was no plan of releasing any inmates to decongest the jails. So far, no inmates have tested positive for COVID-19. “Doctors are on standby. If a situation arises, we will handle it accordingly,” said Kharkrang.

When asked if it would be mandatory for the inmates, to which Kharkrang said the inmates would have an option like every other person. “It will not be made mandatory,” said Kharkrang.

Also Read: Meghalaya: Returnees to isolate for 7 days regardless of COVID test result

At present, there are five district jails in Shillong, Tura, Nongpoh, Williamnagar and Jowai.

Meanwhile, health minister AL Hek said the matter would be taken up immediately since jails are the most vulnerable areas. He added that inmates could be exposed to the virus, so a vaccination drive should be carried out at the earliest.

He informed that once they get the clearance, they would start off from Shillong and then to other prisons across the state.

Hek also informed that inmates are presently not allowed to meet family members to avoid any contact. The inmates have been given access to phones if they wish to call their families.

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