Warsaw, Poland – Nearly half a million litres of illegally-produced alcohol and contraband vodka will be used as disinfectants in the fight against the novel coronavirus, Polish authorities announced a few days ago.
“Due to the growing need for disinfectants, invaluable in fighting the coronavirus epidemic, [we are] working to pass on ethyl alcohol confiscated during criminal proceedings”, Poland’s public prosecutor office and National Revenue Administration declared in a statement.
Whether illegally smuggled into the country or produced domestically without the proper licenses, some 430 litres of vodka and pure alcohol will now join the fight against the viral outbreak and be used to disinfect vehicles, rooms and buildings, according to local reports.
Initially meant to be destroyed, the alcohol will be handed to relevant authorities across the country, from police to border guards and local public administration.
Poland counts a large number of clandestine and illegal distilleries, including in the country’s north-east, producing a home-brewed type of vodka much cheaper than the legally-produced spirits.
According to a separate government announcement, two hospitals in the Polish city of Olsztyn have already received 1,500 litres of rectified spirit, which can contain up to 95% alcohol in some cases.
Poland is not the only country to get creative in the fight against the spread of Covid-19. In France, for instance, a number of distilleries also promised to give away or sell at purchasing price part of their stocks of absinthe and other spirits needed to produce hydroalcoholic gel in large quantities.
As of Sunday, seven people have died from the coronavirus in Poland and 563 cases of infection have been confirmed.