Businesses have been under increasing pressure from the coronavirus, and now many have actively joined efforts to fight the pandemic. Across Europe, brewers have been converting their manufacturing processes to producing hand sanitiser. Scottish company, BrewDog, was one of the first to make the announcement.
Industry giant Pernod Ricard announces many of its brands, including Jameson, will do the same.
The Irish whiskey manufacturer will work in partnership with Mervue Laboratories to provide disinfectant gel to hospitals for free. The product has been in scarce supply amid high demand from consumers.
Rosemary Garth of Irish Distillers said: "This will enable us to deliver large scale quantities of hand sanitiser to hospitals and health care professionals, that need it not only now but in the times ahead.” French luxury goods brand LVMH, which includes Louis Vuitton, will also turn from making perfume to hand sanitiser for hospitals around the country. The company estimates it can produce 12 tons of hand sanitiser instead of Christian Dior, Guerlain and Givenchy fragrances. It will concentrate its efforts on 39 public hospitals in the Ile de France region that includes the capital Paris. A statement from the company said: "LVMH will continue to honour this commitment for as long as necessary, in connection with the French health authorities.”
Italy has become the worst hit country by Covid-19, with the government considering extending a nationwide lockdown. The Agnelli family, which owns the Fiat group and many other major companies, has pledged ten million euros in aid to the Italian Civil Protection Department. It has also made a fleet of vehicles available to the Italian Red Cross and ANPAS (the Italian National Association for Public Assistance) to help with the delivery of food and assistance to elderly and vulnerable people.
China’s industries are starting to fire back up with the country appearing to have brought the disease under control. And they have responded to a call by Premier Li Keqiang to develop new manufacturing lines for medical equipment. Electric vehicle manufacturer BYD says it has created the largest production facility for face masks in the world. In a press statement, the company said: ‘According to the Chinese government’s quality inspection department, the quality of BYD’s masks is significantly better than similar masks in the industry’.
The lockdown in the country showcased China’s prowess with advanced robotics. DJI’s consumer thermal cameras can be used to accurately read people’s temperatures. Its Agras drone can spray disinfectant over wide areas. Another Chinese company, Youibot, designed and manufactured a brand new sterilisation robot in two weeks. Elsewhere, many sports clubs and federations around the world have opened up their archives to give those quarantined something to relieve the boredom. Both MotoGP and Formula One have made classic races available to watch on YouTube. F1 has also launch a virtual Grand Prix after the cancellation of a number of its international races. Julian Tan, Head of Digital Business Initiatives and Esports said: “We are very pleased to be able to bring some light relief in the form of the F1 Esports Virtual GP, in these unpredictable times, as we hope to entertain fans missing the regular sporting action." F1 has also announced that a collective of UK-based Formula 1 teams, engine manufacturers and their respective technology arms is working to answer the UK Government’s call for assistance in manufacturing respiratory devices.