Female prison inmates in Thailand put to work making coronavirus face masks

Female prisoners were put to work today (March 7th) making coronavirus face masks amid a shortage in Thailand. The inmates at the jail in Trang, southern Thailand, received two days of training before being instructed to produce the white two-layered face masks. Officers and inmates have been ordered to wear them to help contain the spread of the deadly COVID-19 bug, which has infected more than 100,000 globally. The masks are also handed out to visiting relatives and sold in nearby towns for 10 baht (0.24GBP) amidst a national shortage, which has even seen hospitals run low on masks. Phakdi Kaewniam, the commander of Trang Provincial Prison, said: ''We're sewing face masks because of a shortage nationally. Everybody must wear them for personal use and we are also selling them outside." Phakdi said the women can produce 400 masks a day. ''Everybody's working hard to fight the coronavirus,'' he added. Thailand has 50 recorded cases of the infection, which started last year in Wuhan, China, either at a fresh meat market or at a research laboratory. The coronavirus has infected more than 100,000 people and killed at least 3,500 around the world.