Kerala Gets Prisoners in Jails to Make Face Masks to Solve Shortage among Coronavirus Crisis
Kerala has earned praise for its proactive approach to dealing with the global coronavirus pandemic | Image credit: Twitter/PTI
With the number of positive coronavirus cases in India rising, face masks and hand sanitisers have perhaps become some of the most coveted properties that peole can currently own. And with union and state governments are scrambling to provide the utmost care and prcaustion to prevent the spread of the COVID-19, one state seems to have got the problem of lack of masks under control.
Even as the number of confirmed COVID-cases rose to over 90 in India, Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan took to Twitter to Saturday night to share a novel solution his government has come up with to maintain a steady supply of masks. The government has got convicted prisoners in state prisons to manufacture masks.
Vijayan shared images of bundles of blue face masks with the caption, "Solving the mask shortage".
"In light of the shortage, directions were given to engage the prisons in the State in manufacturing masks," he wrote, adding, "It has commenced on a war footing basis. Today, the Prison officials of Thiruvananthapuram Jail have handed over the first batch.
#COVID19 | Solving The Mask Problem 😷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— Pinarayi Vijayan (@vijayanpinarayi) March 14, 2020
Kerala has employed tailoring units in state jails to produce the masks. It has even sought to increase its supply of hand sanitisers through the Kerala State Drugs and Pharmaceuticals (KSDP), which is set to produce 10 lakh bottles of hand sanitisers withing ten days, Economic times reported.
The decision brought a lot of cheer on social media with many praising the Kerala government's preparedness in dealing with the crisis.
Kudos to you and your entire team for wonderful work against Coronavirus outbreak— Rishi (@SunoRishi) March 14, 2020
It is pretty impressive. The state government of Kerala decided to handle manufacturing masks and hand sanitizer, to cope with the huge demand, instead of just relying on existing manufacturers.— Vaishali Dinakaran (@VaishDinakaran) 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
Amazing 👏🏼— Gutta Jwala (@Guttajwala) March 14, 2020
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
Not just face masks, Vijayan has been regularly tweeting updates regarding the spread of the pandemic in Kerala as well as precautions and tips for optimimumk benefits.
#COVID19 | Home Care📢 Will intensify awareness efforts. 🏠 Government officials will visit the homes of those under observation. 👩⚕️Health officials & volunteers to be part of this effort. 💊 Provisions for food & medicines. 👮 Police will keep track of the activities.— Pinarayi Vijayan (@vijayanpinarayi) March 14, 2020
#COVID19 | Treating Others Kerala's a favorite destination of many; tourists, guest workers, entrepreneurs and so on. It is time of social distancing. Some restrictions are in place.But this shouldn't lead to any sort of discriminations. Our guests deserve respect & care.— Pinarayi Vijayan (@vijayanpinarayi) March 15, 2020
Internet connectivity is a crucial aspect of business continuity plans during a pandemic. The Principal Secretary IT held talks with service providers to ensure this. Providers have informed that they can raise network capacity by 30% to 40% to meet the surge in demand. #COVID19— Pinarayi Vijayan (@vijayanpinarayi) March 12, 2020
With over 5,000 deaths from the COVID-19 pandemic, almost the entire world is on the brink of a global shortage of masks and sanitizers, which started to disappear off store shelves. With cases soaring, customers inc several places including Delhi and Noida have complained of masks being sold at exorbitant prices. N 95 masks were allegedly being sold at Rs 500 while masks that were previously sold at Rs 10 were being sold at Rs 40, PTI reported.