Manipur’s liquor firm manufactures hand sanitizers to meet state requirements during coronavirus crisis


Imphal (Manipur) [India], May 19 (ANI): A liquor firm in Manipur has started to manufacture hand sanitizers to compensate for the short supply of sanitizers in the state during the coronavirus crisis.

The initiative comes as the central government has requested state governments to rope in distilleries to make hand sanitizers to help people battle COVID-19. However, Jotin Thokchom, Director of J&S Ventures Private Ltd, a commercial fit-out and refurbishment specialist based in Imphal, revealed that he had wished to make hand sanitizers even before the coronavirus outbreak.

“We decided to get ethanol from other states. Unfortunately at that time, the COVID-19 outbreak broke out. A girl from the UK tested positive and panic was created. We approached and the government allowed us to import from other states,” the 47-year-old director said.

“We have produced 200 ml and distributed nearly 1.2 lakh bottles. To bring in the material, the government and military have supported a lot,” he added.

The firm also carries out alcoholic distillation which is the process of separation of the more volatile component, alcohol, from the less volatile component, water, from a water or alcohol solution.

With help from the excise department, the firm imported the distillery after the approval of the government. Ethyl alcohol, a key raw material used in a distillery, is also a key ingredient for hand sanitizers. The other components include hydrogen peroxide, glycerin and lemongrass.

Phajathoi, a staff who has been working with the firm for more than seven years explained, “I feel really good that I am serving the country in times of crisis and also we are getting the opportunity to work.”

These sanitizers are being supplied in bulk to many institutions including hospitals, corporate offices, police departments and military departments.

The price ranges from Rs 150 to 300 and the locally brewed alcohol is abundantly available at traditional heritage villages — Andro, Sekmai and Pheiyeng village. The firm now aims to reach every family and individual in the state to help fight the battle of coronavirus.

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