Destilería Serrallés Donates 55,000 Gallons of Disinfecting Alcohol to Puerto Rico Healthcare Providers
SAN JUAN — Ponce, Puerto Rico-based rum maker Destilería Serrallés Inc. said Wednesday that after “two intense weeks” of producing and distributing high-proof alcohol as a preventive measure against the spread of the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) on the island, the distillery has donated more than 55,000 gallons of this product to hospitals, clinics, healthcare providers, public safety and security personnel for disinfection and sanitization purposes.
On March 15, Destilería Serrallés announced a temporary shift from its rum production, which includes Don Q rum—the best-selling on the island—to enable high-proof alcohol production and free distribution in 70% and 95% concentrations to hospitals and health providers across the island “who are tirelessly working with challenging scenarios resulting from the arrival of COVID-19 over the past few weeks,” the company explained.
“This type of alcohol, which is not suitable for human consumption, is indicated by the World Health Organization for its use in sanitation and disinfection protocols in patients and clinical environments,” added the company, which was conferred the “Green Award” by The Drinks Business for its environmental practices and more recently was recognized as a “World Class Distillery” by World Spirits Awards.
The company launched the initiative as a preventive measure to help mitigate the temporary alcohol shortage on the island until the local alcohol distribution supply chain could replenish its stocks, the company said.
“Since March 17, the distillery has processed hundreds of alcohol donation requests to help in sanitization and disinfection islandwide. The donations have focused primarily on the healthcare sector, which is on the front lines in the battle against the spread of the coronavirus. Providing alcohol in the initial phase of this crisis is of utmost importance,” the president and CEO of Destilería Serrallés, Philippe Brechot, said in the press release.
Brechot specified that the thousands of gallons if disinfectant have already been distributed to primary, secondary and regional hospitals as well as specialized healthcare facilities including pediatric, psychiatric and oncology institutions, as well as dialysis, chemotherapy, radiology and infusion clinics, clinical laboratories and municipal hospitals.
Diagnostic and Treatment Centers (CDTs), Integrated health services as well as healthcare providers under HMO/IPA and Centros 330 have also received distributions. Other alcohol recipients include primary health and specialized physicians, ambulance services and medical transportation providers for patients and senior citizens.
The Puerto Rico Police and Fire Department, the 911 Emergency Response system, as well as state and municipal emergency and security personnel responsible for public safety, have also received alcohol donations.
Since 2017, the company has been contributing to relief efforts in Puerto Rico communities affected by hurricanes and earthquakes through its corporate social responsibility platform “Somos Millones de Quijotes” (“We are Millions of Quixotes”).
“With a small group of our management team and our employees, we have accomplished this unprecedented operation to help Puerto Rico. Together we have worked long days, and we are honored to be contributing to the island at such a critical moment,” said Brechot.
Applicants must meet a series of requirements to be eligible for the alcohol donation. The organizations must be hospitals or healthcare-focused, “demonstrating their services or operations are immersed in stopping the spread of COVID-19 on the Island,” the release reads.
“The spread of Coronavirus in Puerto Rico continues to increase. We urge our citizens to comply and adhere to all quarantine provisions ordered by the Government of Puerto Rico and follow the recommendations issued by the World Health Organization (WHO), the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the Puerto Rico Health Department. We have a collective responsibility to slow this pandemic’s spread in Puerto Rico and around the world, which has now claimed thousands of lives,” Brechot added.
Another rum maker on the island, Bacardi Corp., which has a large distillery in Cataño, also shifted its production to provide alcohol for making hand sanitizer.