Eight inmates die in Mahara prison revolt over Covid infections

55 were injured. Police: Situation under control. More than a thousand infections in the country's prisons. Second wave sees cases of infection double and deaths increase sixfold.


Colombo (AsiaNews / Agencies) - An revolt over rising Covid-19 cases in Mahara prison has resulted in the death of eight inmates and the injury of 55 others.

According to management of the maximum security penitentiary, the clashes with the prison guards broke out yesterday after the inmates managed to escaped from their cells and set fire to the kitchens.

The rioters also took two guards hostage, later released and taken to hospital. At least 200 police commandos surrounded the facility, which is located just outside the capital. Prison authorities say the situation is under control, but have not clarified whether prisoners are still occupying parts of the complex.

Infections among inmates and prison guards are growing rapidly: more than a thousand at the moment. To stop the spread, last week the government imposed a lockdown on all prisons in the country.

After containing the first wave of the pandemic, the government is struggling to cope with the resumption of infections. In the last month, cases in Sri Lanka have more than doubled to nearly 23,500. The dead are 116; at the end of October there were 19.