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Taiwan state-owned liquor company to halt rubbing alcohol production

TTL shifted production capacity to alcohol solution after coronavirus broke out

Rubbing alcohol

Rubbing alcohol (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Taiwan's state-owned liquor company will stop making rubbing alcohol for emergency domestic use as the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic is being brought under control in the island country.

Taiwan Tobacco and Liquor Corporation (TTL), which manufactures and distributes cigarettes and alcohol, was asked by the government to produce 75 percent alcohol solution in February. The move was a response to a spike in demand for ethanol-based alcohol as people scrambled to secure disinfectant products to fend off the virus.

According to TTL, the company has produced over 18 million bottles since February at factories in Tainan, Taichung, Chiayi, Pingtung, Hualien, and Yilan. With demand waning, production of the solution will be gradually halted starting May 29, reported Newtalk.

TTL assured the public that there remains an adequate supply of rubbing alcohol in the market and that it can be purchased at the company’s stores, four major convenience store chains, and supermarkets. The company said the remaining surplus will be sold to producers in the private sector, adding that production can always be resumed if the need arises.

In light of heightened awareness about good hygiene and sanitation practices, TTL plans to manufacture a new hand sanitizer in the near future. The product, an ethanol-based solution blended with essential oils, is slated to hit the market on June 20.

Taiwan reported one new imported case on Thursday (May 21), but the country has gone 39 days without any local infections. The total caseload in Taiwan stands at 441 with seven deaths.