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Coronavirus: This surgical shop in Kerala's Kochi is selling face masks at Rs 2

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Thiruvananthapuram, Mar 15: As the face masks and hand sanitiser in the shops are running short of supplies and at some plaaces its, available at higher prices than normal, a surgical shop in Kerala's Kochi is acting like a good Samaritan and has made the masks available at a price of Rs 2 per piece to the the most needy- hospitals and medical teams. It has sold around 5000 masks at Rs 2 each in two days.

Coronavirus: This surgical shop in Keralas Kochi is selling face masks at Rs 2

Speaking to ANI, Nadheem, co-owner said,"We decided to sell masks at reasonable price especially to the common people like hospital staff & students."

Thasleem PK, co-owner also said,''For the last 8 years we have been selling masks at Rs 2. But now, the rate has gone up everywhere. We bought the masks at Rs 8 or Rs 10 & are selling at Rs 2, while others are selling at Rs 25.''

Meanwhile, in the wake of three positive cases of coronavirus being reported from the state capital, the state government imposed restrictions on visitors entry at malls, gyms and beaches and warned people not to venture out of their homes unless necessary. So far, 19 people have been found positive for the virus, including three from Thiruvananthapuram.

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The government had earlier closed schools, colleges and cancelled all public functions in the state to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

"People are advised not to visit malls and beaches. Gyms and beauty parlours must also keep vigil. People must avoid being in a crowd," Tourism minister Kadakampally Surendran said in a Facebook post.

With an Italian tourist testing positive for the virus at nearby Varkala, the beach wore a deserted look on Saturday.

The government has also directed the resorts in the district not to allow foreign tourists staying there to venture out. "Those in home quarantine must follow the directions of the government. Those who need help can approach the health department and strong action will be taken against those resorts which fail to comply with the state government's directions," Surendran said.

Kerala has been hit by the second round of COVID-19 cases after the country's first three positive cases in the state were successfully cured and discharged from hospitals last month. The state capital, which would be crowded on a weekend was deserted on Saturday.

"Normally, the roads would be crowded. But today, there was no traffic. It's like this for last two days," Rajan, an auto-rickshaw driver, said. The Thampanoor bus stand area, which also has the busiest Central Railway station, wore a deserted look with very few buses plying from the stand.

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The city corporation has arranged a vehicle fitted with speakers announcing the precautions that must be taken by the public to prevent the spread of the infection. A senior official from Kerala State Road Transport Corporation told PTI that they have not cancelled any service but there are less passengers.

"We have not cancelled any service but there are less number of passengers. Especially in the weekend," the KSRTC official said. District Collector K Gopalakrishnan told media that those coming from abroad should remain under quarantine for 28 days. "I would urge people to stay indoors and not to move around and take precautionary measures. Those coming from abroad should be under home quarantine for 28 days. Many are not following the restrictions while in quarantine," Collector said.

(with PTI inputs)

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