Image Source: Dawn

The oldest and the only liquor brand in Pakistan Murree Brewery has gotten the go-ahead from the Punjab excise and taxation department to start making hand sanitizer.

The organization has been given permission to make 10,000 gallons of sanitizers a month, Chief Executive Officer Isphanyar Bhandara said by phone. The Punjab excise department did not respond to a request for comment.

Pakistan has been locked down as the government tried to halt COVID-19 from spreading. The Rawalpindi-based Murree has also requested the government to reopen liquor stores to stop the rising sales of toxic illegal liquor that has been harmful to several people.

Earlier this week, the brewery offered to mass-produce and sell hand sanitizer with 70 percent alcohol to help fight the coronavirus outbreak in Pakistan.

Source/ The Economist
According to the CEO, Isphandyar Bhandara, the motivation behind this was very simple. “We wanted to help the country. We buy alcohol so we already have it in stock – where we are making liquor, we can make sanitizers as well.”

He also added “we know how to make it too. When the first few COVID-19 cases started popping up in Pakistan, we made in-house samples for our employees.”

The formula, according to the chief executive of Pakistan’s biggest manufacturer of alcoholic and non-alcoholic products, is very simple. All you need is Ethanol, glycerin, and food color. “It can be made without color as well, it’s not complicated,” he continued.

Source/ Bloomberg

Furthermore, the Punjab excise and taxation department mentioned that they were giving authorization to companies and individuals to make hand sanitizer because the ones currently in the market did not have ethanol.

Moreover, DG Suhail Shahzad said that they had allowed Murree Brewery to make 54,000 liters each month. “Now let’s see how quickly they can deliver.”

The Pakistan Standards and Quality Control Authority has declared sanitizers of 23 brands of poor quality since they do not have enough amount of alcohol in them or pH levels by WHO standards.