Louis Vuitton owner LVMH to make hand sanitisers for French hospitals at perfume, cosmetics factories

LVMH said the sanitising hand gels will be delivered "at no charge" to French health authorities, in particular the 39 public hospitals in Paris.
LVMH said the sanitising hand gels will be delivered "at no charge" to French health authorities, in particular the 39 public hospitals in Paris.PHOTO: REUTERS

PARIS (AFP) - The French luxury group LVMH said on Sunday (March 15) that it would begin producing sanitising hand gels at three of its perfume and cosmetics sites in France, for distribution to French hospitals fighting the country's coronavirus outbreak.

Twelve tonnes will be produced as soon as this week, instead of the usual Christian Dior, Guerlain and Givenchy scents and make-up usually made at the three factories.

They will be delivered "at no charge" to French health authorities, in particular the 39 public hospitals in Paris, the group said.

"I wish to thank LVMH for acting so quickly: They made us this offer on Saturday night at 9pm (2000 GMT), and confirmed it on Sunday," Paris hospitals chief Martine Hirsch told AFP.

Paris hospitals have not yet run out of gel but supplies are "strained", a spokesman for the Paris hospital system said, adding that other companies have also said they are ready to donate supplies.

Fears of catching the new coronavirus have sparked a run on hand sanitising gels across France, with many pharmacies restricting clients to one small bottle per person.

The government has issued a decree limiting prices after reports some retailers were trying to make extra profit from would-be buyers, with a 100ml bottle now costing no more than €3 (S$4.70).

Producers across France say they have been hiring workers to meet the soaring demand, as the authorities urge stringent hand cleaning among measures to curtail the outbreak.