Inmates nationwide expected to be inoculated in June
Thailand’s department of corrections is planning to inoculate all inmates nationwide, beginning with people at high-risk, such as those over 60, those with a high BMI and those with congenital diseases. The campaign is expected to begin in June, after the new lot of vaccines arrive.
A number of the correction department officials, who have to be in contact with inmates, such as to take them to and from court, have already been vaccinated.
The deputy director-general at the department of corrections, Weerakit Harnpripan, said that the inoculation campaign is a part of the plan which the department’s director-general proposed to the justice minister. The proposal also includes the conducting of rapid COVID-19 tests, which can produce results within 20 minutes, as soon as a new prisoner leaves the court, but before entering the system.
The department asked the public to be confident that the justice ministry and the corrections department are prepared, and that all the necessary measures have been prepared. The department is conducting mass screening, meaning every inmate will get tested.
As for the new cases, which suddenly jumped into four figures, the official explained that, in April, the capability to conduct the COVID-19 tests was quite limited, at only 300 samples a day. So, the number of new cases recorded was under 1,000. Recently, however, the royally-sponsored mobile rapid test units were sent to the department of corrections, resulting in a higher number of samples being collected and a higher number of new cases being found.
As for how the latest outbreak started, the department’s director-general, Ayuth Sintoppant, said the one in the female prison came from new inmates, while the outbreak in the male prison came from the department’s officials.