COVID-19-driven spike in demand prompts alcohol maker’s appeal vs hoarding | Inquirer Business
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COVID-19-driven spike in demand prompts alcohol maker’s appeal vs hoarding

/ 03:09 PM March 19, 2020

Production of bottled alcohol continues at a Green Cross plant as output has been overwhelmed by high demand, partly because of hoarding. PHOTO FROM GREEN CROSS

One of the leading manufacturers of rubbing alcohol in the country is already producing four times more bottles of alcohol than it used to and is appealing to consumers to refrain from buying more than they need.

The company Green Cross said it was going out of its way to help protect health workers on the frontline of the fight against COVID-19 by producing more alcohol.

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Green Cross, in an e-mail interview, said people could help protect those on the frontline of the fight against COVID-19 by not hoarding alcohol.

The company said its production is “currently running at close to 300 percent of our usual output.”

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“Demand is much higher than that at this point,” it said.

It said while it had adjusted production to meet high demand, “we urge the general public to cooperate with authorities and to do their share in normalizing demand by limiting to two bottles their purchase of alcohol, an essential medical supply.”

The company recommended that people wash hands with soap, which also offers protection against SARS-Cov-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.

The Department of Health has so far counted 200 confirmed COVID-19 cases in the country. A total of 17 fatalities was recorded.

While President Rodrigo Duterte has declared a state of calamity for the entire country, he has placed Luzon, home to more than 50 million people, under enhanced community quarantine. This required people to stay at home.

But problems in implementation and lack of clear and realistic sets of guidelines had caused chaos on the ground. For example, the national government suspended mass transportation but asked workers in essential sectors, like supermarkets, to continue reporting for work.

Distributors also encountered supply bottlenecks despite assurances by the Inter-Agency Task Force on COVID-19 of an unhampered flow of essential cargo like food.

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“Due to the enhanced quarantine measures, our employees and delivery vehicles are not able to move around the city as quickly,” Green Cross said.

“We are currently making arrangements with well being of our employees in mind and coordinating closely with LGUs,” it said.

“We hope the government helps us ensure passage of our employees, supply trucks, and delivery trucks,” it added.

“Rest assured, we are doing our best so our products reach the hospitals, front liners and the retailers,” it said.

Green Cross said it had extended operating hours but made sure transportation and staff houses are available for its workers.

Food, vitamins, alcohol pumping stations and regular sanitation are also available in production lines.

“We are one with the nation in this fight against an invisible enemy,” said Michael Co, Green Cross president, in a press statement.

“With everyone’s cooperation, we are confident that the country will be able to overcome the COVID-19 pandemic and move toward recovery,” Co said.

Edited by TSB

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