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Tuesday May 19 2020
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More than 200 prisoners test positive for coronavirus at Karachi Central Jail

59 prisoners were diagnosed as positive for the novel coronavirus in Lahore while 42 were infected in various other cities across Pakistan, according to the Justice Project Pakistan (JPP). Geo.tv/Illustration/Files

KARACHI: More than 200 prisoners have tested positive for the deadly coronavirus at Karachi Central Jail, the Justice Project Pakistan (JPP) said in a statement released Tuesday, bumping up the total number of infected inmates across the country to 353.

According to JPP spokesperson Muhammad Shoaib, of the 370 tests conducted among the prisoners incarcerated at the Karachi Central Jail to check if they had contracted the deadly COVID-19, 212 came out positive.

With 40 cases reported earlier, the total number of infections among the inmates in the metropolis has now shot up to 252. Separately, 59 prisoners were reported coronavirus-positive in Lahore and 42 in various other cities.

Also read: Punjab to let go 20,000 prisoners over coronavirus scare

To date, one prisoners has reportedly died of the coronavirus, according to the JPP, which maintains a record of the inmates infected across the country.

On the other hand, jail sources informed Geo News that eight officers at the prison had also tested positive for coronavirus. The officials and the inmates who have contracted the deadly COVID-19 infection were being kept in isolation, they said.

Prison officials said samples of another 700 inmates at the Karachi Central Jail have been obtained. At present, none of the prisoners exhibited any symptoms of coronavirus, they added.

Read more: Warning bells sounded as 89 prisoners test positive for coronavirus in Punjab jails

The not-for-profit organisation had previously warned that Karachi's central jail could soon become the “new flash point” for the disease.

"Urgent mitigating steps need to be taken to prevent its further spread in the facility which is already grossly overcrowded,” the organisation tweeted. The Karachi Central Prison houses 3,527 inmates, while it only has the capacity of 2,400.

The number of sickened prisoners are highest in Punjab, 100. Separately, one case has been reported from Quetta in Balochistan.

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