British alcoholic beverage producer Diageo is set to donate alcohol to make more than eight million bottles of sanitiser for frontline healthcare workers globally fighting coronavirus (Covid-19).

The company is also providing support packages for bartenders and others impacted by Covid-19 related closures.

Additionally, Diageo has placed safety protocols across all sites, including heightened sanitation measures and restrictions on movement.

Diageo chief executive Ivan Menezes said: “During this challenging time, our top priority is to safeguard the health and well-being of our people while taking necessary action to protect our business. I am confident in Diageo’s long-term strategy and our ability to move quickly in this difficult environment.

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“We will continue to execute with discipline and invest prudently to ensure we are strongly positioned for a recovery in consumer demand. I am proud of the resilience and commitment of our people as they work hard to support our partners, customers and communities.”

As part of social distancing measures, the company has closed down its on-trade channels and is also tracking changes in consumer behaviour to set plans and resources accordingly.

In Mainland China, Diageo reported a slow return of on-trade consumption, as restaurants and bars begin to re-open.  A slight pick-up in the off-trade channel was witnessed in North America and Europe during recent weeks, while bars and restaurants remain closed in most of the states.

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A nationwide lockdown closed the company’s on and off-trade channels in India. The production facilities across most industries, including United Spirits’ supply operations, are closed for an initial period of three weeks until 14 April.

The on-trade channels in South Africa have also been affected by a nationwide lockdown. Diageo has shut two of its production sites in Nigeria.