The Commissioner urged the Chief Public Health Officer to take appropriate measures to ensure infection prevention during the COVID-19 outbreak in places of detention.
8 February 2021
The Office of the Commissioner for Human Rights received information that a positive case of COVID-19 was confirmed in the pre-trial detention center of the Ministry of Internal Affairs "Dranda".
Prisoners report that, despite the presence of symptoms characteristic of coronavirus disease, no effective measures of adequate response are being taken by medical workers and the administration of the remand center.
The outbreak of coronavirus infection in «Dranda» SIZO is a serious threat to public health, given the overcrowding, the difficulty of securing physical distance, the poor conditions of detention and poor ventilation. Insufficient sanitation, hygiene and health services also increase the risk of contamination.
According to articles 48 and 49 of the RA Act “On medical and epidemiological welfare of the population”, Chief State Sanitary Inspector has the right to pay daily visits to the area and premises of the facilities subject to state sanitary and epidemiological supervision, with the aim of verifying the fulfillment of sanitary and counter epidemic (preventive) measures.
Upon the disclosure of breaches of the sanitary legislation, and also is there’s a threat of the rise and spread of infectious diseases and mass non-infectious diseases (poisoning), the officials exercising state sanitary and epidemiological supervision have the right to issue to private persons and legal entities the orders binding on them in the respective time-limits.
According to paragraph 6 of Article 49 of the Law, the chief state sanitary inspector and his deputies have the right to pass motivated resolutions on the following actions:
a) the hospitalization of persons affected with infectious diseases endangering people around and persons suspected of affection with such diseases for medical examination or isolation;
b) the compulsory medical examination, hospitalization, or isolation of individuals who have had contact with people affected with infectious diseases and endangering people around;
c) the suspension from work of persons who carry agents of infectious diseases and may be sources of the incidence of infectious diseases.
Also according to Article 49, the chief state sanitary inspector has the right to pass motivated resolution for violating the sanitary legislation on the imposition of administrative penalties in the form of warnings of fines;
to send materials about the violation of the sanitary legislation to law-enforcement bodies with the aim of initiating criminal cases.
The Commissioner urged the Chief Public Health Officer L. Skorik to take appropriate measures to ensure infection prevention during the COVID-19 outbreak in places of detention and to provide information on the measures implemented so far.