73 percent of inmates fully vaccinated against COVID-19

Maldives Corrections Service has said 73 percent of prisoners in jails have received two doses of the COVID-19 vaccine. The information was disclosed by the Commissioner of Prisons Ahmed Mohamed Fulhu at a ceremony held Sunday to inaugurate a training program for jail officers from the Maldives and Sri Lanka.

The CP said 84 percent of inmates had received the first dose of the vaccine, while both doses had been completed by 73 percent. He said that 94 percent of Corrections officers and staff had received the first dose, while 89 percent had received both doses.

The CP spoke on the challenges faced by correction due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the State of Public Health Emergency, and the lockdown that followed. He detailed the steps taken at the jails to ensure the safety of inmates and jail officers.

In this regard, the jails were cleaned and disinfected, and inmates and jail officers were screened for symptoms of COVID-19 daily. Inmates that were eligible to be released under clemency and parole were released. Inmates with chronic illnesses were temporarily changed to home arrest, and entry and exit from the prisons were restricted. He also noted that the transport of inmates for medical treatment and court hearings were temporarily halted.

The CP further noted that modern technology and resources were utilized to ensure the rights of inmates. He said that phone and video calls were introduced for family and lawyer meetings, and court hearings were conducted online. Consultations with specialist and superspecialist doctors were also facilitated, and an MoU was signed with Indira Gandhi Memorial Hospital (IGMH), he said.

Full further said online money transfer options for inmates and their families were arranged. He said a new medical center with additional services was also established at Maafushi Prison.

The CP acknowledged that jail officers remained in lockdown at the prisons away from the families during the pandemic situation, and expressed his gratitude for their sacrifices and effort.