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Coronavirus: Prisoners manufacture masks to overcome shortage

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Mumbai: In a bid to tide over the shortage of masks during the coronavirus outbreak in Maharashtra, prisons in the state have stepped in to manufacture the protective gear.

Speaking to reporters on Wednesday, Home Minister Anil Deshmukh said in order to meet the increasing demand for masks during the pandemic, inmates in central prisons across Maharashtrahave started manufacturing them.

The minister said the prison administration approved of his idea and have started manufacturing.

Some of these masks are used by inmates, prison officials and the rest are sold to suppliers, Deshmukh said, adding that prisoners are paid for this work.

Meanwhile, the Home Minister has directed the prison administration to screen all new inmates in view of the pandemic.

Authorities have also been asked to subject inmates, who are already lodged in prisons, to medical tests, he added.

Moreover, to prevent overcrowding, some inmates will be shifted to other jails and new inmates in Mumbai will be moved to Taloja Jail, he said.

Families will not be allowed to visit prisoners for the time being, he said, adding that courts are also requested to conduct trials through video conferencing.

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