LAHORE: The Punjab government on Tuesday banned meetings of prisoners with their families for ten days across the province in the wake of coronavirus.
The Home Department has issued a notification in this regard to the Punjab Prisons inspector general (IG), deputy inspector general (DIG) and all provincial superintendents while directing to ensure implementation of the Covid-19 standard operating procedures (SOPs).
It emerged that more than six prisoners have tested positive for the virus so far; the number which came to light after provincial authorities accelerated inmate screening in jails across Punjab.
About 42 jails are functioning past capacity and house a total of 53,000 inmates despite a cumulative limit of 34,000, making social distancing near impossible to impose.
In this regard, the inspector-general of prisons on Tuesday directed the vaccinations of all prisoners above 50 years, jail staff and their families as per the policy of the provincial health department.
According to a circular issued today, the intimation is to be followed on a priority basis with the help of the health chief executive officer of the concerned district.
On the other hand, Pakistan has reported 103 deaths in the last 24 hours by novel coronavirus as the number of positive cases has surged to 696,184. The nationwide tally of fatalities has jumped to 14,924.
According to the latest figures by the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC), 3,953 persons tested positive for Covid-19 in the past 24 hours.
Punjab remains the worst-hit province in terms of deaths followed by Sindh and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
Till now 6,675 individuals have lost their lives to the epidemic in Punjab 4,510 in Sindh, 2,469 in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP), 584 in Islamabad, 372 in Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK), 211 in Balochistan, and 103 in Gilgit-Baltistan (GB).
Furthermore, 266,926 coronavirus cases have been confirmed in Sindh, 235,569 in Punjab, 93,033 in KP, 62,211 in Islamabad, 19,855 in Balochistan, 13,529 in AJK and 5,061 in GB.
Pakistan has so far conducted 10,493,362 coronavirus tests and 46,665 in the last 24 hours. 618,158 coronavirus patients have recovered in the country whereas 3,645 patients are in critical condition.