The first batch of masks was produced at the Central Prison in Thiruvananthapuram and handed over to the health department on Saturday.

COVID-19 Inmates of Kerala jails make face masks to tackle shortage
Coronavirus Coronavirus Sunday, March 15, 2020 - 09:27

With Kerala facing an acute shortage of face masks in the wake of COVID-19 pandemic, the tailoring units of jails across the state Kerala have begun producing masks to tackle the crisis.

Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Saturday announced that directions have already been given to engage the tailoring units of prisons in the state to manufacture the masks. “It has commenced on a war footing basis,” he said.

On Saturday, the first batch of masks was produced by the Central Prison in Thiruvananthapuram and handed to officials of the health department.



Kerala started facing a shortage of masks as COVID-19 cases were once again reported following the recovery of three students who came from China. With people returning from other COVID-19-affected countries, Kerala is in a state of crisis.

With the demand for face masks increasing exponentially, there were instances where a few shops were selling masks at a higher rate.

Though it has been told by the health department officials that there is no need for everyone to use the mask and only those in contact with patients need to wear it, the demand is still on the rise. Meanwhile, the health department has also given direction that people with cold and flu-like symptoms should wear masks while going to hospitals.

With the jails now starting to manufacture masks, it will help meet the demand of masks to some extent.

Besides, the Indian government has declared hand sanitisers as well as surgical and N95 masks as essential commodities till June 30, to curb hoarding and to ensure its availability.

A total of 19 people are presently tested positive for coronavirus in the state. Among this, 10 came from other COVID-19 affected countries, one is an Italian national who came as a tourist to Kerala and the other eight contracted the virus from the three-member NRI (non-resident Indian) family who came from Italy. Apart from this, a total of over 7,000 people are being observed in the state under quarantine. 


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