KOLKATA: With the demand for hand sanitizers rising in the wake of the coronavirus scare, two higher educational institutions in the city have made low-cost sanitiser claiming they met WHO guidelines.
A top state health department official said sanitisers should have over 60 per cent alcohol content and prepared by qualified chemists.
"We have been told about the hand sanitisers made by Surendranath College and Jadavpur University.
We welcome such move and we wish to test their samples very soon to decide if their products can be used on a mass scale," the official said.
Jadavpur University Pro-Vice-Chancellor Chiranjib Bhattacharya told PTI that the pharmacy department has already developed a hand sanitiser with 70 per cent alcohol content, sourced from herbal fluids.
The sanitisers have been made by following World Health Organisation (WHO) specifications, Bhattacharya claimed.
"Already 200 bottles, weighing 100 ml each, have been produced and are being distributed free of cost among our staff, local rickshaw pullers, auto drivers and shop keepers, Bhattacharya, who is from the Chemical Engineering department, said.
Bhattacharya said the Faculty of Engineering & Technology Students' Union (FETSU) of JU also separately produced a low-cost hand sanitiser under the supervision of the faculty "meeting all WHO specifications."
"FETSU has produced 50 bottles of sanitisers for a social cause," he said.
Meanwhile, till Wednesday the chemistry department of Surendranath College has made 40 bottles of hand sanitiser at one of its four laboratories, the head of the department, Harishankar Biswas, said on Friday.
Each bottle contains 100 ml sanitiser, he said.
"We were happy with the result. 40 bottles of sanitisers are ready and we are producing more. The sanitiser is called Sparsho (touch) and the bottles will be distributed for free among the locals," the senior chemistry teacher said.
In both cases, apart from the chemical ingredients available at the lab, other contents were procured from the market, and the concoction was prepared meeting WHO norms, the teacher claimed.
While the principal of Surendranath College said a team from the institution has already met the officials of the state health department to offer support in replenishing sanitiser stock as much as possible, the JU Pro-VC said, We will formally approach the health department later.
The Presidency University Students' Union on Friday announced it will make hand sanitisers with crowdfunding to help people fight COVID-19.
"Keeping in mind the current need of sanitation facilities and gross unavailability of necessities such as hand sanitisers, Presidency University Students' Union takes the initiative to make hand sanitizers with the help of students and certain faculty members," the leader of the union, Subhajit Sarkar, said.
The union requested every student to donate according to their capacity.