Two more provinces implement wartime controls on prisons following virus clusters

Source:Global Times Published: 2020/2/23 16:03:39


Staff members do nucleic acid testing work at a novel coronavirus detection lab in Wuhan, central China's Hubei Province, Feb. 22, 2020. (Xinhua/Cheng Min)

Southwest China's Sichuan and Northeast China's Heilongjiang provinces have requested their prisons and drug rehabilitation centers to implement temporary wartime controls to block the spread of the COVID-19 and eliminate loopholes in management, after new infections were reported at congregated facilities.

A total of 512 cases have been confirmed in five prisons in Zhejiang, Hubei and Shandong provinces on Friday.

The Justice Department of Sichuan Province held a conference on Friday and asked all its prisons to be locked down immediately, according to a notice on the department's website on Sunday.

There will no longer be rotating duty shifts in the prisons and the controls will be implemented for a month, the notice said. 

The department also requested prisons and rehabilitation centers to seal and store all surveillance videos since January 22 for inspection. 

Since January 25, the department has asked all newly admitted prisoners and drug addicts, as well as those returning to prison after visiting their relatives, to be quarantined. In addition, people entering the prisons and rehabilitation centers must have their body temperature taken and wear masks. All vehicles and materials entering the prisons and these centers must be tested and disinfected. 

All outside visits, transfers of prisoners and drug addicts, and education activities are suspended, and inmates will no longer be eating together. All large-scale activities in these venues will be suspended. 

According to the department, out of a total of 37,098 people it inspected, 26 people had visited places in Hubei Province during the epidemic period, and 172 people had contacted with people from Hubei. 

All these people have been required to stay at home in quarantine and are not allowed to go on duty, have contact with other personnel on shift or their families. No case of infections among police, prisoners or drug addicts have been reported so far.  

According to the Heilongjiang prison management bureau, all prisons and drug rehabilitation centers in the province began implementing wartime controls on Saturday. It requested a complete lockdown of all doors in these facilities and for all workers to report information in a timely manner.

According to a notice published by China's  Ministry of Justice on February 14, Chongqing has already implemented wartime control management in its prisons. Previously, prison administrations in South China's Guangdong Province and Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region and North China's Hebei Province had announced complete lockdowns.

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