Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 31 May 2020

Coronavirus: New Abu Dhabi factory boosts mask and sanitiser production

The plant has been built to help the UAE combat the spread of Covid-19

A new factory in Khalifa Industrial Zone Abu Dhabi, or Kizad, is manufacturing hand sanitiser and thousands of masks to help fight the spread of Covid-19. VPS Healthcare
A new factory in Khalifa Industrial Zone Abu Dhabi, or Kizad, is manufacturing hand sanitiser and thousands of masks to help fight the spread of Covid-19. VPS Healthcare

A new factory has been built in Abu Dhabi to manufacture tens of thousands of masks and bottles of sanitiser to boost the fight against Covid-19.

About 50,000 masks and 48,000 bottles of sanitiser are being produced every day by VPS Healthcare and will be supplied to government offices.

Shamsheer Vayalil, VPS Healthcare’s managing director, said the group took the decision to build the factory to support the government’s efforts to curb the spread of the coronavirus pandemic.

He said residents had a collective responsibility to “offer all possible support and service to the nation which is relentlessly fighting to contain the viral infection”.

Demand for masks and sanitisers has surged across the UAE, with retailers and chemists reporting they had run out of protective gear when the first confirmed case of the coronavirus was announced in the country in January.

Some hypermarket chains including Lulu placed a purchase limit of two bottles of hand sanitiser per customer last week to prevent people from hoarding or profiteering.

The Ministry of Economy, too, has warned shopkeepers that those found hiking the price of hand sanitiser could face temporary closure and hefty penalties of up to Dh100,000.

The UAE government has said it is holding regular meetings with large consumer goods companies to ensure regular supplies.

Public-service messages have been issued on social media to constantly remind people about the need to wash or sanitise their hands.

Dr Vayalil called on people to help the UAE government and the Ministry of Health, which were engaged in the “Herculean task” of limiting infection rates.

The new factory in Khalifa Industrial Zone Abu Dhabi is in addition to VPS Healthcare’s existing premises in Sharjah and Jebel Ali, Dubai, which manufacture protective equipment.

Since the new factory started running this month, the company’s sanitiser production has risen to 100,000 bottles each day.

It had earlier donated Dh1 million worth of disinfection products, gloves, sanitiser, masks and vitamin tablets to the Ministry of Education.

Several UAE companies have come forward to offer transport, food and logistics services to the government.

Abdulrahman Al Hammadi, undersecretary at the Ministry of Education, said community partnership with companies would boost safety measures.

Updated: March 24, 2020 03:48 PM

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