07:13 GMT29 March 2020
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    New Delhi (Sputnik): The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases continues to mount in India, standing at 107. Until a few days ago, the Indian state of Kerala had the highest number of COVID-19 cases. With 31 confirmed coronavirus cases, the state of Maharashtra has now overtaken Kerala (22 cases) in terms of the total number of confirmed cases.

    The Indian state of Kerala, which saw the first three cases of COVID-19, has got its prison inmates making face masks to ensure a steady supply in the wake of shortages.

    State Chief of Kerala Pinarayi Vijayan tweeted late Saturday evening, “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".

    The state has also drafted into service tailoring units in seven more district jails in addition to the Thiruvananthapuram Jail, where the first batch of the face masks was produced. The re-usable two-layered cotton masks are being produced by jail inmates under guidance from the In House Drug Bank of, a government hospital in Kerela’s Thiruvananthapuram. The drug bank will sell the masks procured from prisons at INR 10 ($0.14) apiece.  

    With face masks and hand sanitizers becoming the most sought after commodities amid the COVID-19 outbreak, the Kerala government is also planning to ensure a steady supply of the sanitizers.


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