It turns out that Coronavirus really doesn't care about boundaries. It has breached the security of a Federal prison in Seagoville, Texas, and infected more than a thousand inmates of it. This is a staggeringly high percentage of the total number of prisoners in the jail, which is around 1800.
The exact number of prisoners who have been tested positive for COVID-19 is 1,072. This is the highest count of infected people in any prison across the country. There has even been a fatality due to the virus – a 65-year old man called James Giannetta who had been sentenced to 14 years of imprisonment for drug trafficking and money-laundering related charges.
The prisoners inside jails in the USA have been fearful of catching the infection. There had been many appeals from them and their families for getting an early release as well as being subjected to house arrest instead. But the authorities have resisted the calls so far.
There have been greater measures taken to keep the pandemic from reaching inside the prisons. However, this outbreak shows that they haven't proven adequate. Now, the relatives of some of those locked up in this penitentiary have decided to protest outside the facility.
This protest is being led by Michelle Trevino, who is the wife of one of the prisoners. "My biggest fear is that COVID will get him. There are people who qualify, who've done very well, who really want to turn their lives around," she was quoted as saying in a report by Fox News.
Not just prisoners but 10 members of the prison staff have also been found COVID-19 positive. Overall, the state has been severely hit by the pandemic and over 320,000 people have been found infected so far. The number rose by 15,000 on Saturday.
The authorities managing federal prisons say that they have increased testing to detect even those patients whose infection is asymptomatic. However, with the virus causing mayhem outside, it was only a matter of time before it reached people even in a place like this.
Trevino is hoping that the law-enforcement agencies would show mercy to those serving prison sentences. She responded to the skepticism of many people towards showing any leniency to those who are convicted of crimes.
"Honestly, I get it. I understand where they're coming from. I know how it must look to say 'hey, just let them out!' But that's not what we're saying at all and I don't think it's pointless to be a voice for them because it's that bad in there for them. I mean, it really is," she added.
It's a difficult moral choice that is facing the authorities. No one will envy their position or that of staff members working in prisons right now.