Assam breweries to supply 5 lakh litres free sanitizers to fight Covid-19
The breweries had stopped production following the announcement of lockdown.Updated: Mar 29, 2020 12:39 IST
Breweries in Assam which had closed operations due to the lockdown to check the spread of coronavirus, have now resumed work to supply 5 lakh litres of hand sanitizer free to the state government to fight the virus, the state’s excise minister said Sunday.
The move was initiated after the supply of hand sanitizers failed to match the demand and those available in the market were sold at very high rates or were of dubious quality.
The demand for sanitizers has gone through the roof following the coronavirus pandemic. No one has yet tested positive in Assam.
“We have signed agreements with 11 private factories to supply hand sanitizers. They have already started working on it,” Assam excise minister Parimal Suklabaidya said.
“The move was initiated after talks with National Health Mission (NHM), Assam revealed hand sanitizers were being sold at exorbitant rates and there was suspicion about their content,” he added.
According to World Health Organization (WHO) standards, hand sanitizers should have at least 60% ethanol or isopropyl alcohol for them to be effective against coronavirus.
As per the agreement, the factories will be able to produce hand sanitizers on a mass scale.
While they will sell part of the content at a no-profit price of Rs 50 for a 200 ml bottle, rest of the production, i.e. 5 lakh litres, will be given free to government as part of corporate social responsibility (CSR) of the companies.
Once the factories start supply in a phase-wise manner, there will be 25 lakh bottles of hand sanitizers available for free with the state government and NHM which they will be able to distribute in hospitals and to the public.
“They have already started giving us the sanitizers and we will soon start distribution. As of now we will supply across Assam. If we are able to meet our requirement, we might supply to other states too,” said Suklabaidya.