More than 500 inmates at Arizona prison test positive for coronavirus

WION Web Team New York, New York, United States of America Aug 06, 2020, 12.07 PM(IST)

Arizona prison Photograph:( AFP )

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The Arizona Department of Corrections said Tuesday that 517 inmates at the ASPC-Tucson Whetstone prison "have tested positive for COVID-19."

Nearly half the population of a prison in the US state of Arizona -- more than 500 inmates -- have tested positive for the novel coronavirus.

The Arizona Department of Corrections said Tuesday that 517 inmates at the ASPC-Tucson Whetstone prison "have tested positive for COVID-19."

Those inmates "are currently being housed as a cohort together in separate areas and are receiving appropriate medical care. They will not be allowed back into the general population until they have been medically cleared," its statement read.

The coronavirus has severely afflicted US jails and penitentiaries, home to the world's biggest prison population, which comprises 2.3 million inmates.

Arizona has reported more than 180,000 coronavirus cases, of which 1,429 are in prisons.

California however has reported 51 deaths among prisoners, including 22 in the notorious San Quentin prison just north of San Francisco.

The most recent victim "died August 4th at an outside hospital from what appear to be complications related to COVID-19," the California Department of Corrections said.

California, population 40 million, has reported more than 524,000 coronavirus cases and 9,700 deaths.

In an attempt to prevent the spread of the virus in the close confines of prisons, since March 11 authorities in the state have released 15,683 inmates who were behind bars for minor crimes or were nearing the end of their sentences.