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March 17, 2020

SHC CJ orders screening of all prisoners across Sindh

Sindh High Court Chief Justice Ahmed Ali M Sheikh on Monday ordered screening of all prisoners and undertrials locked up in prisons of the province in view of coronavirus pandemic.

The high court chief justice observed that it was imperative to have a complete screening of the inmates and undertrials locked up in all provincial prisons, which are already overcrowded and therefore chances of the virus spread were high.

The SHC chief justice directed the chief secretary and the IG prisons to provide at least four temperature guns to each prison unit, depending upon the number of inmates kept there, for an early detection and subsequently isolation of those infected from others to minimise the chances of the virus spread.

The prisons authorities have been directed to check the body temperature of the jail staff before entering the prisons and jail premises and they have been advised to sanitise themselves and wash their hands at regular intervals.

The SHC chief justice directed the jail doctors to remain vigilant and guide the inmates how to keep themselves safe in case any inmate suffers from flue, fever, headache or any other symptoms related to the coronavirus.

The high court chief justice directed the IG prisons to submit a detailed report with regard to complete screening of the prisons in the province within a week.

The chief secretary was also directed to depute a rapid response unit of paramedics and doctors in every central prison of Sindh to take steps with consultation with the secretary health and the IG prisons, adding that in case any inmates were infected with the coronavirus, steps should be taken to keep him in isolation as per the standards.

It is pertinent to mention that the SHC chief justice had already taken precautionary measures in view of the coronavirus and ordered a proper fumigation in the high court premises in Karachi as well as its bench in Sukkur and circuit courts in Larkana and Hyderabad and all districts courts.

The SHC chief justice also directed the prison authorities to urgently take measures for proper fumigation, sterilisation and other necessary pre-cautionary steps in all prisons of the province. The prisons authorities have been directed to stop unnecessary entry of the public in the jail premises. The CJ directed the court staff that windows and the ventilators of the court room and offices and branches in the court premises be kept open.

The SHC chief justice further directed that persons whose attendance was required by the courts may only be allowed to enter the courtrooms.