Russia's prime minister wants to put prisoners to work manufacturing medical masks to fight coronavirus
Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin has reportedly ordered Russia’s National Guard and ministries of trade and industry, defense, and education to start providing students and the military with materials needed to produce personal protective gear, according to a report by the website RBC, which says its sources in the federal cabinet and in the National Guard verify this information.
Mishustin has also reportedly told the Justice Ministry and Federal Penitentiary Service to put inmates to work manufacturing protective gear, including medical masks. “They should be producing protective gear on a daily basis, as indicated in the orders,” says RBC. At the time of publication, neither Mishustin’s cabinet nor the Trade and Industry Ministry had responded to RBC’s inquiries.
As of March 17, Russia had confirmed 114 cases of coronavirus, including 21 new infections in the previous 24 hours.