By THE NATION
Ministry of Energy spokesman Watchara Kannika said on Friday (March 13) that the claim made by Weerakorn Khamprakob, Nakhon Sawan MP of Phalang Pracharat Party, on Thursday that the ministry has over 100 million litres of alcohol in stock that can be used to make alcohol-based hand gels is not true. “Although the Covid-19 situation has caused shortage of hand sanitiser gels in the market, we cannot use all alcohol in stock as it is earmarked for making fuel,” he said. “Most of the alcohol we have are already mixed with gasoline and therefore cannot be used to make hand gels or disinfectants. The ministry has around 1 million litres of alcohol left per day from fuel making.”
Watchara also added that Energy Minister Sonthirat Sonthijirawong on Monday (March 9) had met with the Excise Department to discuss plans to procure more alcohol from 26 manufacturers nationwide to make more hand sanitsers for people to fight the spread of the Covid-19. “This amount of alcohol will be added to the 1 million litres per day we have left from fuel making, and we hope to start the manufacturing process very soon,” he added.
“I would like to thank Weerakorn for bringing the issue to the public attention and am willing to provide accurate information on all related aspects. All government agencies are working hard to minimise the impact of the Covid-19 outbreak on the people to as little as possible,” added Watchara.