Thai prison inmates will be vaccinated against Covid-19 next month


All prisoners in Thai prisons will be vaccinated against Covid-19 from next month. The announcement of the national prison vaccination campaign follows epidemics this week which infected nearly 3,000 inmates in 2 prisons in Bangkok. There have also been epidemics in the prisons of Chiang Mai and the southern province of Narathiwat.

At Bangkok Central Women’s Correctional Facility, more than 1,000 inmates are infected with Covid-19. The outbreak started from a new inmate infected with the virus, according to the director general of the Department of Corrections. At the Bangkok remand center, where more than half of the prison population has tested positive for Covid-19, the virus was introduced into the prison by a department official who was infected.

As Covid-19 spreads and infects inmates in Thai prisons, human rights activists have called on Thai authorities to tackle the long-standing problem of overcrowded prisons and release inmates into judicial custody for minor crimes or non-violent.

To prevent the spread of Covid-19 in Thai prisons, the Department of Corrections is also planning to conduct rapid Covid-19 tests on new inmates before they are placed in the general prison population. Test results are coming back in 20 minutes and inmates will no longer need to quarantine themselves for long periods of time while waiting for a result.

Many officials who work for the corrections service, such as guards who come into close contact with inmates, have already been vaccinated against the coronavirus. The department will begin vaccinating inmates once another order of Covid-19 vaccines arrives in June. Those at high risk of serious infection will be vaccinated first.

SOURCE: Thai PBS

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