Demands for hand sanitiser and liquid soap has spiked following the global coronavirus outbreak. Against this backdrop, Carew & Co in Chuadanga is all set to mass-produce hand sanitisers to meet the growing demand.
The country's only state-owned distillery has already produced hand sanitisers on a test basis and will start marketing it soon at affordable prices.
The company is now waiting for a nod from Bangladesh Sugar and Food Industries Corporation (BSFIC) to start their production. It will be marketed under the name 'Carew's Hand Sanitizer'.
"Our hand sanitisers consist of 60 to 70 percent rectified spirit, glycerine, colour and fragrance. Expert chemists have been involved with the production and this sanitiser can kill any virus instantly," said Jahid Ali Ansary, managing director of Carew & Co.
"We are capable of producing as much as needed and we plan to sell it through our distribution points -- 13 warehouses and three sales centres. We plan on setting up selling points in front of the corporation's head office and in front of the industries ministry. It can also be sold through pharmacies across the country," he said.
Industries Minister Nurul Majid Mahmud Humayun has already directed the company to prepare for massive production and nationwide marketing to meet the demand, Jahid Ali Ansary also said.
The company plans on charging Tk 60 for a 100ml bottle of hand sanitiser, which according to Ansary is much cheaper than the ones available in the market.
Sanat Kumar Saha, chairman of BSFIC said, "We are considering allowing sales once we get quality clearances from Bangladesh Standards and Testing Institute (BSTI)."
"Hand sanitisers can be made with any kind of alcohol but normally it is made with isopropyl alcohol which is very scarce now. Ethanol is a very good substitute and Carew & Co is the only source of the chemical in Bangladesh," he added.
Md Abdul Halim, secretary to the Ministry of Industry, said, "This is a crucial time and we all must do our best to support this initiative taken by Carew & Co."
The ministry will take all necessary measures to ensure the product gets clearance soon.