With the official figure crossing 100, the number of confirmed cases of coronavirus in India have increased sharply over the last two weeks. With increasing number of cases, people have resorted to buying large number of face masks as a preventive measure.

This has led to a huge shortage of face masks across the country. At some places vendors are even selling these masks at thrice the original price.

Source: NIE

Amid this fear, Kerala government has come up with a unique way to deal with the mask shortage. They have deployed prisoners in state prisons to manufacture masks and maintain a steady supply.

Source: Deccan Herald

Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan took to Twitter to share the pictures of the first batch of masks manufactured by the prisoners at Thiruvananthapuram Jail.

In conversation with The Print, CMO Kerala informed that a thousand masks were handed over to the health department on Saturday and another 5,000 masks were made available on Sunday.

These two-layered cotton masks have been made by the tailoring units of the prisons and are washable and reusable. They have been priced at Rs 15-20 per piece.

Source: Twitter

While some people are questioning the hygiene practised in manufacturing these masks, others are lauding the Kerala government for its initiative in the time of crisis.

Not just masks, the Kerala government is also trying to increase the supply of hand sanitisers with the help of Kerala State Drugs and Pharmaceuticals. The body is expected to produce 10 lakh bottles of hand sanitisers in the next 10 days.

It should be noted that Kerala was the first state in India to report a positive case of coronavirus on 30th January. Later, 2 more cases were confirmed and the patients were discharged after recovery.