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How Palm Wine, Gin, Vodka And Whisky Distilleries Are Combating Covid-19

The fight against the COVID-19 outbreak has resulted in a dire need for supplies. As a result, distilleries and pharmacists from around the world are taking matters into their own hands by swapping gin, vodka and palm wine for hand sanitisers.

Pharmacists in Bali are using tropical fermented palm wine to produce hand sanitisers. Alarmed that supplies of alcohol-based disinfectant are running low, Bali police chief Petrus Reinhard Golos sent 4,000 liters of the potent beverage to Bali’s Udayana University.

Within a week, a WHO-standard disinfectant with a 96% alcohol content was produced.”So far we’ve produced 10,600 bottles of hand sanitizer using arak and Bali police have given them out to people in need,” said Dewa Ayu Swastini, head of the university’s pharmaceutical faculty.

Similarly, Isle of Man-based Fynoderee have released batches of their high-strength alcohol rub last month. According to the BBC, the distillery originally planned to use waste alcohol from its gin production process. However, due to traces of botanical ingredients, pure ethanol was used to produce the much-needed hand sanitisers.

Also known as the ‘fynitiser’, the 80% alcohol rub is now produced at 750 litres a week. While their first 500 litres was donated to hospitals and schools, the rest of the product is now delivered to local retailers in a bid to combat global supply shortages.

French spirits empire Pernod Ricard also chipped in for the fight against COVID-19. The brand behind the likes of Absolut Vodka, Beefeater and Glenlivet produced 21,000 litres of hand sanitisers on a weekly basis, by the end of March, in the United States.

Diageo has also pledged more than eight million bottles of free hand sanitisers to frontline healthcare workers. Additionally, the company behind Johnnie Walker and Smirnoff is donating two million liters of alcohol to manufacturing partners for production.


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