As the number of coronavirus cases are rapidly increasing, and face masks and hand sanitizers have become essential commodities, Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan took to Twitter to share a solution his government has come up with to maintain a steady supply of masks. The Kerala government has got convicted prisoners in state prisons to manufacture masks. Vijayan even shared images of bundles of blue face masks with the caption, 'Solving the mask problem'.
#COVID19 | Solving The Mask Problem 😷— Pinarayi Vijayan (@vijayanpinarayi) March 14, 2020
In light of the shortage, directions were given to engage the prisons in the State in manufacturing masks. It has commenced on a war footing basis. Today, the Prison officials of Thiruvananthapuram Jail have handed over the first batch. pic.twitter.com/QKgHWqYNOg
According to reports, Kerala has employed tailoring units in state jails to produce the masks. Furthermore, Kerala government has even sought to increase its supply of hand sanitizer through the Kerala State Drugs and Pharmaceuticals (KSDP), which is set to produce almost ten lakh bottles of hand sanitizers within ten days. The initiative and preparedness by Kerala government were also hailed by several internet users.
This is a really good idea. Not just to get more masks, but also to give the prisoners the feeling that they can help fight this thing. This will combat despair and riots— Thalia (@ThaliaCrafts) March 14, 2020
Amazing 👏🏼— Gutta Jwala (@Guttajwala) March 14, 2020
Damn i feel so confident in my government. Feel proud to be living here. Proud to have you as our leader.— Kiran K S (@KiranKSGatsby) March 14, 2020
Kudos to you and your entire team for wonderful work against Coronavirus outbreak— Rishi (@SunoRishi) March 14, 2020
Kudos sir. People are busy horse trading and then we have an educated small state showing the way forward to other bigger states.🙏🙏🙏— Jayanta Deb (@Jayantakrdeb) March 15, 2020
The number of positive coronavirus cases has now risen to 114 in the country, including two deaths reported from Delhi and Karnataka. The Delhi government has also formed teams to take action against who are overcharging for masks and sanitisers and those hoarding these items. Delhi's Health Minister has also re-emphasised that N95 maks should only be used by healthcare workers to those who are showing symptoms.
According to reports, several pharmacies are also preventing the sale of N95 masks. Price gouging and hoarding has become a major concern during the fight against the novel coronavirus which has been declared a pandemic by the World Health Organisation (WHO). Pharmacists have also alleged that the wholesale dealers have hiked the price after the surge in demand due to the growing threat.