Coronavirus: Indian prisons make and sell face masks to meet surging demand

Inmates making face masks as part of a project inside the Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose central jail, in Jabalpur, India, on March 15, 2020.
Inmates making face masks as part of a project inside the Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose central jail, in Jabalpur, India, on March 15, 2020.PHOTO: AFP

The coronavirus pandemic has become a leveller for thousands of prisoners across the country. As the number of Covid-19 cases reached 152 in India, most states have called on jail inmates to manufacture cloth masks and even hand sanitisers.

Among the first to heed this call were prisons in the southern state of Kerala. The state director-general of prisons Rishi Raj Singh said nearly 8,000 prisoners across 35 jails are making about 10,000 masks a day.

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