Curfew, lockdown, social distancing, quarantine are the keywords buzzing on the internet, social media and everywhere else today. The Coronavirus pandemic and accompanied fear and panic has forced people into seclusion and a kind of house arrest, quite unnatural to most families. However, outside, the market is still struggling with unprecedented demand for handwash and sanitizers that are, clearly, the most priceless commodity for all.
While branded products have run out of supply and the few that are still roaming in the market, are being sold at a premium, colleges and institutions in West Bengal having pharmaceutical and chemistry departments, have taken up the onerous task of producing indigenous sanitizers. The chemistry department of Maulana Azad College and the Maulana Abul Kalam Azad University of Technology (MAKAUT) took the initiative to prepare low-cost sanitizers containing 70 per cent ethanol or alcohol. Some have even added fragrance to the sanitizers.
The Guru Nanak Institute of Pharmaceutical Science and Technology (GNIPST) under the JIS Group, has also taken this initiative to fight the novel Coronavirus. The pharmaceutical department of this college has also developed a smart hand sanitizer containing 60 per cent alcohol in a gel base. The smart sanitizer contains polypropylene glycol that makes the product gentle on the hands and keeps the skin soft.
“This is an absolutely research based product developed in the laboratory of GNIPST. Our attempt is to distribute this sanitizer free of cost to as many people as possible so that they keep safe,” said Dr Lopamudra Dutta, the principal of GNIPST. The product is available from the GNIPST campus and the head office of the JIS Group. “Each individual will get a maximum of three of the 50ml bottles, on a first come first served basis till stocks last,” said Dr Abhijit Sengupta, the director of GNIPST.