Luxury goods conglomerate LVMH’s production of hand sanitisers began yesterday as three of its fragrance manufacturing facilities in France hustle to make as much as 12 tonnes of disinfectant gels instead of its usual Christian Dior, Guerlain and Givenchy scents and makeup.
The move comes amid a nationwide shortage of alcohol-based sanitisers, especially across healthcare sites, as the coronavirus rapidly spreads.
"LVMH will use the production lines of its perfume and cosmetic brands ... to produce large quantities of hydroalcoholic gels from Monday,” the company said in a press release.
"Through this initiative, LVMH intends to help address the risk of a lack of product in France and enable a greater number of people to continue to take the right action to protect themselves from the spread of the virus.”
The gels will be delivered free of charge to French health authorities and the Assistance Publique-Hôpitaux de Paris, the largest hospital system in Europe.
LVMH also previously donated 16million yuan (RM9.8million) to The Red Cross Society of China during the early stages of the outbreak.
Over the weekend, French Prime Minister Édouard Philippe announced a closure order on all businesses — including restaurants, cafes, cinemas and clubs — except those that are essential, such as food shops, pharmacies, petrol stations and banks. Additionally, citizens are directed to practise social distancing to combat the spread of the virus.
According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), Europe has now become the epicentre of the pandemic, with more reported cases and deaths than the rest of the world combined, apart from China.
As of today, the number of coronavirus cases in France has passed 6,630, with 148 deaths.