COVID19 infections among the prisoners in Urmia Central Prison is to the extent that some of the prison staff are afraid of going to work.
Doctors, nurses and health workers have left the prison since Saturday to protest the lack of measures to prevent the infection in the prison.
Some three staff have previously contracted the virus and are quarantined at home.
Currently, there is only one nurse in the prison’s health department who is not willing to examine anyone. Prisoners are not tested for coronavirus.
Prisoners are reportedly transferred directly to the wards among the rest of the population after returning from leave without a quarantine period.
Many prisoners in all wards of the prison are showing coronavirus symptoms such as fever, sore throat, loss of smell and taste senses, and body aches. The lack of attention by prison authorities has resulted in the spread of the disease among prisoners. After repeated protests by prisoners, a few critical patients were tested, and they were diagnosed with COVID19 infections.
The prisoners of Urmia are lacking the most basic hygienic products such as soap and sanitizers. These products are sold at very high prices, and most prisoners do not have the means to purchase them.
The prison is overcrowded. Wards 1 and 2 currently have nearly double the 70 inmates it is meant to hold.
Overcrowding, unhygienic conditions and lack of medical care in prisons across Iran are causing the rapid spread of COVID19 infections in many facilities.
Fear of contagion among prison populations and lack of adequate healthcare for those who have fallen ill has triggered riots in some detention facilities in the past months.
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