4,000 UK prisoners set for early release over pandemic

Apr 4, 2020 11:50 PM ET

Prisoners who are within two months of their release date are set to be released from prison, which is part of a national plan to protect the NHS.

Lord Chancellor and Justice Secretary Robert Buckland announced that each case will be individually risk assessed, which will not apply to high risk prisoners.

He said, “This Government is committed to ensuring that justice is served to those who break the law.

“But this is an unprecedented situation because if Coronavirus takes hold in our prisons, the NHS could be overwhelmed, and more lives put at risk.

“All prisoners will face a tough risk assessment and must comply with strict conditions, including an electronic tag, while they are closely monitored. Those that do not will be recalled to prison.”

Meanwhile, the Health Secretary Matt Hancock said during the daily Downing Street briefing that the UK are to launch worlds largest ever clinical trials in the fight against coronavirus.

Hancock told the nation, “These trials are looking at the effect of existing drugs and steroids repurposed for treatment of COVID-19. One of the trials, which is called ‘recovery’ which deals in hospital care, is the largest of its kind in the world with 926 patients enrolled.

“We have also set up an expert therapeutic task force to search for and shortlist other candidate medicines for trial.”

The Health Secretary added, “We need more patients to volunteer to be part of these trials because the bigger the trials, the better the data and the faster we can roll out the treatments.”

Deputy Chief Medical Officer Professor Jonathan Van-Tam said, much work has been going on “for weeks behind the scenes.”

Palliative care expert, Kathryn Mannix told the BBC that people with a severe case of coronavirus wil died very “quickly.”

To help the public cope, Mannix explained how to understand the “horrible distressing” process.

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