Prison authorities said they had already started taking precautions when cases began to rise in the state. Inmates who had to be admitted were screened and the prisoners commandeered for outside work were not allowed to mix with those inside.
Coronavirus pandemic has hit the central jail here with more than 350 inmates testing positive in the last one week and a murder accused succumbing to the pathogen on Sunday.
A day after a 71-year-old remand prisoner in Poojappura Central Jail, Thiruvananthapuram, tested postive for COVID-19, 59 prisoners who shared the same prison block have been declared positive on Wednesday
When he was released in parole while serving a life sentence at the Poojapura central jail for the double murder, Gowri was scared.
Until recently, workers were hired from outside to build the shed. But jail authorities have decided to do away with that practise and employ the inmates, many of whom partake in the festival, this year.
The Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) would run the petrol pumps that would be open 24 hours. The jail department would give the land needed for setting up the bunks and the staff.
The facility, hailed as a step towards bringing an end to custodial crimes, has been dysfunctional for months.
The jail at Poojappura houses over 1,300 inmates and several serious incidents are reported regularly.