(JAMAICA OBSERVER) – J Wray and Nephew will forego approximately $250 million in potential revenue in order to assist the Government and people of Jamaica to fight the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.
The company did not reveal or confirm the dollar number, which was arrived at by calculating the street value of the product to the market.
The spirits manufacturer and distributor, with a 195-year history of operating in Jamaica, will donate 100,000 litres of high strength alcohol to be used as a sanitising and cleaning agent, mostly to hospitals and homes.
Of that amount, 50,000 litres of high strength alcohol will be made available to State agency National Health Fund (NHF), for onward delivery to hospitals and clinics; 20,000 litres in bulk will go toward producing hand sanitisers for the civil service; a further remainder will be made available to J Wray and Nephew staff, and communities close to where the company has operations. They include the Corporate Area, Clarendon, and St Elizabeth.
National Health Fund CEO Everton Anderson confirmed that his organisation would collect the promised commodity and proceed to dispatch it speedily in the public health system.
Anderson, who spoke briefly to the Jamaica Observer as he was in a meeting with health sector officials yesterday, said that the gesture would go a far way in the fight against the virus that has killed thousands, mainly in China, where it originated, and in Europe.
Up to late Monday, Jamaica had recorded 12 positive cases of COVID-19.
J Wray and Nephew will also make sanitised, non-potable water available, to be used for hand-washing and cleaning purposes.
Managing director of J Wray and Nephew Jean Philippe Beyer, in confirming the donation, said yesterday: “As corporate leaders and a socially responsible company, J Wray and Nephew will be donating 70,000 litres of 70 per cent pure alcohol to the Ministry of Health, through the National Health Fund, for use in public health sector and has reserved 30,000 litres to support its staff at all its locations and will extend a portion of this to the community.
“Throughout our 195 years of operating we have responded to every major disaster in Jamaica. In providing pure alcohol to NHF, we are working with the Government to ensure that public hospitals maintain international standards in responding to Jamaica’s needs during this time. We are also prepared to provide non-potable water to the hospital and our communities, to help maintain good hygienic practices which are important in fighting COVID-19,” he said.
The company indicated that it has activated its “smart and remote working policy” to allow for social distancing as well as for staff to respond to the needs of their families during this time.
The firm also stated that it would continue to monitor and work with the Government to respond to the needs of the country and its staff.