Prison wardens, inmates in KP are making sanitisers, face masks after govt's lack of response

March 30, 2020

So far, the jailers and prisoners have collaboratively made 6,000 face masks and 100 litres of sanitiser

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A doctor wearing a protective mask speaks on a phone as he leaves an isolation ward in Islamabad, Pakistan, January 31, 2020. AFP/Aamir Qureshi/Files

Concerns keep surfacing in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa over and over during the coronavirus crisis as observer question the provincial leadership's effectiveness as well as its ability to provide proper facilities to people and medics.

In a startling finding, Geo News has discovered that jail administration staff and inmates at prisons in KP have started to make their own sanitisers and face masks after facing disappointment from the lack of response or facilitation from the provincial government.

The jail administration staff and prisoners, according to a document obtained by Geo News, have despondently resorted to creating sanitisers and face masks, among other necessary items, for their own protection. None of the basic healthcare items were available in the market and, therefore, the ones made inside the jails were being distributed among all the inmates.

So far, the determined jail wardens and prisoners all over the province have collaboratively made 6,000 face masks and 100 litres of sanitiser. Of the total, 1,000 face masks and 12 litres of sanitiser were in Central Jail Peshawar.

Further, the document states that requests have been sent to the KP Provincial Disaster Management Authority (PDMA) for provision of basic healthcare items for the prisoners.

Speaking to Geo News, the inspector-general of prisons for KP, Masud ur Rahman, said they had asked the provincial government to provide masks, sanitisers, thermal scanners, and protective gear.

"We demand the equipment and items be immediately provided in order to ensure that our jails remain safe and secure," Rahman said. "At the moment, we are preparing face masks and hand sanitisers ourselves and for now, the situation is under control.

"No prisoner has tested positive for the COVID-19 coronavirus," the official said.

On the other hand, KP PDMA Director-General Pervez Khan also spoke to Geo News, saying sanitisers had been prepared with the help of civil defense volunteers and would soon be handed over to the prisons department.

"We are purchasing surgical masks and we will give them to the jail officials too," Khan added.



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