In the wake of COVID-19, the world is running out of hand sanitizer. As people panic buy Purell and other off-label antibacterial gels (including third-party sellers who are price gouging consumers), it's creating a serious issue for hospitals who rely on it to safely treat patients.
Now, one of the world's largest and most prestigious perfume and cosmetic conglomerates, LVMH, is stepping in to help. Over the weekend, LVMH — the Paris-headquartered parent company that owns luxury fragrance labels like Louis Vuitton and Givenchy — announced that it will be using its factories to mass produce hand sanitizer that will be distributed to French hospitals free of charge.
LVMH issued a statement on Sunday, March 15th, announcing that its factories would manufacture "large quantities" of hand disinfectant as the coronavirus continues its spread across the country and the world at large, according to reports by Reuters.
"LVMH will use the production lines of its perfume and cosmetic brands to produce large quantities of hydroalcoholic gels," LVMH announced in a statement, adding that the relief efforts will be free to French health-care establishments working on the front lines to stop the spread of COVID-19, which has led to 5,420 cases and 127 deaths in France as of Sunday. "These gels will be delivered free of charge to the health authorities."
According to further reports by Forbes, LVMH expects to produce 12 tons of hydroalcoholic gel by the end of the week — a massive aid that can serve as a model to manufacturers around the world. Bloomberg reports that given the global demand for disinfectant, the United States FDA is encouraging licensed pharmacists to follow LVMH's lead and similarly batch sanitizer and disinfectant to aid with the shortage.
It's further proof that in these uncertain times, the more we can work together to help those affected by COVID-19 — from social distancing to pooling resources — the better it will be for us all.
COVID-19 has been declared a global pandemic. Go to the Public Health Agency of Canada website for the latest information on symptoms, prevention, and other resources.