Nov 30, Colombo: It has been revealed that 26 inmates who were injured in the unrest at the Mahara Prison have been infected with the COVID-19 coronavirus.
Rapid antigen tests carried out on 48 of the 71 inmates admitted to the hospital over injuries have found that 26 of them are positive for COVID-19, according to Deputy Director of Ragama Hospital Dr. Sarath Premasiri. Ten of the injured are in critical condition, the health official added.
Eight prisoners were killed in the riot after prison officials opened fire to prevent the unruly prisoners from attempting to break free from the prison.
It took nearly 18 hours to bring the tense situation under control which started at around 5 pm yesterday. That was after the police special task force (STF) and police went into the prison this morning and conducted an operation. Police and the Navy were called in to guard the prison and the fire was extinguished using 06 fire engines.
It has been reported that hundreds of inmates broke into the prison pharmacy, assaulted the officers at the pharmacy and got high on narcotic medicines. The unruly inmates have set fire to the offices and prison stores, local media reports said.
Police Media Spokesman DIG Ajith Rohana stated that a large amount of property has been damaged due to the incident at the Mahara Prison.
Meanwhile, a large number of relatives had gathered near the Mahara Prison today to find out what had happened to their detainees following the report of the unrest at the prison. Heated exchange of words between them and the police officers have been reported as they were unable to obtain information about the detainees. Relatives, including women, had been near the prison with their young children since the incident was reported this morning.