Coronavirus rumour prompts prison riot, some prisoners escape

PHOTO: Al Jazeera

Rumours of a Covid-19 coronavirus outbreak in a prison in the lower northeastern province of Buri Ram sparked a riot. The riot erupted at the central prison after about 100 determined prisoners broke furniture and smashed windows and set a fire over rumours of a Covid-19 outbreak in the prison yesterday.

A number of prisoners escaped but 7 have been recaptured, according to Justice Minister Somsak Thepsutin. Somsak says the protest began at about 11.45am in the dining area while wardens were refurbishing an isolation cell for inmates infected with communicable diseases. The exact number of prisoners who escaped is not yet known.

Around 100 prisoners, some facing life sentences, set fire to the dining hall and destroyed the visiting room for relatives. Thick black smoke could be seen billowing from the prison into the sky.

“The fact is that none of the prisoners in Buri Ram were infected. They only started this rumour to find some supporters.”

Police say mental health workers were called in to assuage prisoners “after some rumours were spread” about a coronavirus outbreak.

“The situation is under control.”

SOURCE: Al Jazeera | Bangkok Post

Covid-19 News

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