Vietnam Sanctuary gets ahead of COVID-19 by producing its own hand sanitizer.

06 March 2020

With the whole world now on high alert with the spread of the coronavirus COVID-19 the team at the Vietnam Bear Rescue Centre are preparing to help combat the spread in the area around the Sanctuary by making their own hand sanitizer from scratch based on World Health Organisation (WHO) guidelines.

Vietnam has been relatively insulated from the crisis with only 16 confirmed cases to date with all of the people infected having made a full recovery. However many areas are still taking quarantine precautions. 

 Many have attributed the limited impact of the virus in Vietnam on the government’s swift response. Schools have been closed and travel has been restricted. 

 Our team at the Vietnam Bear Rescue Centre in the government run Tam Dao National Park have proactively been making hand sanitizers to ensure they have plenty available in the event that the crisis worsens as well as to distribute to local villages and health care workers to help them maintain good hand hygiene. 

Bottles with labels in Vietnamese

 Everyone at the sanctuary has been involved in the process which involved:

  • Sourcing and procuring all the ingredients; 

  • Designing and printing a stunning set of labels featuring a cute cartoon bear;

  • Translating the WHO guidelines on how to make the sanitizer for use by local health-care workers;

  • Making 100 litres of the product in a day;

  • Filling 200 pump bottles and attaching the labels.

Senior Vet Surgeon Shaun Thomson said:

“The team has really rallied and overcome any fear that they might have had about the virus. It’s been great that everyone has been so focused and proactive in what has felt like a real team effort. Making these hand sanitizers has brought our whole sanctuary family together around this project. Everyone has been involved from the bear carers who filled the bottles, to the translators who took the WHO guidelines we used and translated them for use by health care workers here in Vietnam. It’s great to think that our efforts will have a positive impact on site, bypassing any shortages we might have encountered, as well as in the local community and wider afield. 

“Our thoughts are with our colleagues at our bear rescue sites in China. They are experiencing much greater risks, shortages and increased costs for the basic essentials. We have been sending our support and best wishes during this most difficult of times.”

Bottles ready for filling with hand santiser

These hand sanitizers and the other world class biosecurity measures in place at the sanctuary will help ensure that both the bears and our Animals Asia family on site stay healthy. Their resourcefulness in the face of a crisis yet again illustrates the amazing talent we have in our teams who are always ready to put their bravery in action.