Turkey will begin this week distributing a locally-produced, boron-based hand sanitizer, Energy Minister Fatih Dönmez said Sunday. The Turkish government is trying to address the shortage of personal hygiene items amid the coronavirus pandemic.
The hand sanitizer “BOREL” has been in mass production for over a week and will be used to help combat the spread of the coronavirus, Dönmez said on his Twitter account.
“We stand by our nation along with our institutions in the fight against COVID-19. We will overcome these days together,” the minister tweeted.
The hand sanitizer was developed by Turkey's National Boron Research Institute last month, using boron extracted by Turkey's official mining company, Eti Maden. Other ingredients include ethyl alcohol, glycerol, aloe vera, lavender and tea tree oil.
Boron is generally used in household and industrial disinfectants for cleaning, laundering or bleaching. It is used in soaps and detergents, as well as personal care products such as whitening toothpaste.
The government has also started domestic production of medical ventilators, medical masks, N95 respirators and protective gear as part of preventive measures against the outbreak.
On Wednesday, Industry and Technology Minister Mustafa Varank said some 8 million masks are being produced locally every day.