The 78,496 prisoners in 68 jails have not yet received Covid-19 vaccine jabs
The authorities have yet to decide on launching a Covid-19 vaccination campaign for the prisoners, despite the prisons being overcrowded and at a high risk of the virus infection.
In February this year, the Department of Prisons submitted a plan to vaccinate the inmates in 68 jails of the country, Inspector General of Prisons Brig Gen Md Mominur Rahman Mamun told Dhaka Tribune on Wednesday.
“Our application is under process now. As far as I know, the application has been forwarded from the Home Ministry to the Health Ministry,” he said.
“Vaccines will be provided for all citizens of the country, but no decision has been finalized to vaccinate the prisoners yet,” Additional Director General (Planning and Development) of Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS) Dr Meerjady Sabrina Flora said on Tuesday.
According to that plan, the convicted inmates will be the first to receive jabs and those above 40 will be given priority. After that, the vaccination for those under trial will be allowed.
According to the IG prisons, as of Tuesday, there were 78,496 prisoners in the 68 prisons, among whom only 15-20% are convicted.
Meanwhile, the jail authorities claimed that the covid-19 affected numbers in the jail is still less than 100.
Recently a death-row inmate in the 10-truck arms case contracted the virus while in the condemned cell of Kashimpur Central Jail. He was later transferred to the capital’s Shaheed Suhrawardy Medical College.
Sayed Belal Hossain, additional secretary (jail wing) of the Home Ministry, said that they have decided in principle to start vaccination in jails.
"We are hopeful of starting it when the vaccines will be available. Vaccines will be given on a priority basis," he added.
Bangladesh started the countrywide inoculation program from January 27 and is set to start the mass vaccination campaign from August 7.
As many as 14,000 vaccine centers will administer vaccines all over the country under this mass drive.