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  2. Prisoners of a colony in Murmansk complained about the lack of medical attention during the coronavirus outbreak

Prisoners of a colony in Murmansk complained about the lack of medical attention during the coronavirus outbreak

Elena Zholobova
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Prisoners of Correctional Colony 17 in Murmansk reported that they had massive coronavirus and did not receive proper treatment. Their reports were anonymously published by Novaya Gazeta. However, the emergency response center keeps telling that the sick are getting all the necessary medical attention.

The coronavirus outbreak, according to prisoners' reports cited by Novaya Gazeta, began in Correctional Colony 17 in mid-October. One of the prisoners says that about 70 cases of coronavirus have been confirmed in the colony by now, their number is slowly increasing, but many do not even go to the infirmary, as they see that medical attention is not provided. He says that patients are tested and given only febrifuges, e.g. aspirin and paracetamol.

At the same time, the prisoners keep telling that only one patient was sent from Correctional Colony 17 to another colony during the entire quarantine period.

 “If someone in the section is sick, they are simply transferred to live in the gym, and this is how the patient’s treatment ends. There was not enough space in the gym, and the administration sent patients to the 5th section (it was uninhabitable, it was to be repaired). A paramedic occasionally comes to the gym to take the temperature of those who complain a lot about their health,” Novaya Gazeta quotes one of the prisoners.

Prisoners of the colony also complain that they are given protective equipment only "if they push for it", and newly arrived healthy prisoners are sent to sections, after which they begin falling ill.

The regional coronavirus emergency response center confirmed the coronavirus outbreak in maximum security penal colony No. 17, but reported that its scale was significantly smaller than the prisoners had stated. According to the emergency response center, only 24 convicts were tested positive, while only four have symptoms of the disease.

“The convicts are isolated, are under the supervision of health workers, they are prescribed antiviral treatment. Their state of health is satisfactory. There were no cases of pneumonia diagnosed against the background of coronavirus and of hospitalization to civilian medical institutions. Medical facilities, where there are necessary household conditions, are established in the colony,” an official statement of the emergency response center says. “Convicts and employees of the colony are provided with personal protection equipment. The institution’s infirmary has the necessary medicinal drugs in sufficient volume for treating viral infections including for treating new coronavirus infection and comorbidities.”

Earlier, the regional directorate of the Federal Penitentiary Service reported that additional regime-restrictive measures have been in effect in Correctional Colony 17 since October 23. Because of the imposed quarantine, short visits are prohibited, the staff is transferred to a two-week shift, and visits of human rights defenders are restricted.


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