SMC to produce free rubbing alcohol from Ginebra plant

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San Miguel Corporation is looking to produce and distribute rubbing alcohol for free to assist in the fight against COVID-19.

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, March 17) — San Miguel Corporation said it is looking to produce and give away rubbing alcohol for free to aid efforts to combat the novel coronavirus pandemic.

The listed conglomerate said it is eyeing to use the facilities of Ginebra San Miguel Inc., its liquor production unit, to produce 70 percent ethyl alcohol which it wants to distribute to public hospitals and local government units.

Production already started at the GSM plant over the weekend, which is now being used within the facility and for SMC employees.

“We are working on getting the necessary clearances from the relevant government agencies, to produce this for public use. We ask that they help expedite clearances,” SMC President and Chief Operating Officer Ramon Ang said in a statement.

The listed firm said the alcohol being produced out of their spirits factory is made from fermented molasses. Ang said SMC is targeting donations in 20-liter containers up to 1,000-liter tote tanks of the alcohol, which may be used to disinfect government, healthcare, and public facilities. Experts recommend using rubbing alcohol if soap and running water are not available for handwashing.

READ: Health workers, frontliners appeal for masks and alcohol donations in fight vs. COVID-19

COVID-19 is spread through small droplets from the nose or mouth when people infected with the virus cough or sneeze. According to the World Health Organization, 80 percent of patients only experience “mild illness” and eventually recover. It added that some 14 percent experience severe illness while five percent can get critically ill.

Ang added that the firm would also donate over 13,000 units of Protect Plus Gold disinfectant powder, which is used to sanitize areas such as hog farms after a disease outbreak. He clarified that the product is safe to use around people.

Meanwhile, SMC assured that food supply will be steady in supermarkets as their manufacturing plants operate 24/7. Ang added that food donations will be sent to public hospitals and to families in poor communities.