EghtesadOnline: Iran’s petrochemical industry is on the frontline of fighting the coronavirus since the past two months, taking measures to help prevent and control the novel virus.
After the outbreak of the infectious disease in late February and following severe shortage of disinfectants, production of antiseptic solutions in large quantities was put on the agenda of many petrochemical companies to help slow down the spread of the virus, IRNA reported.
The much-needed cleaning chemical products have been distributed in urban and industrial spaces, especially in Assalouyeh and Mahshahr in the south, where most oil, gas and petrochemical complexes are based. It is vital for the country that they continue with their production switch as many other businesses are forced to discontinue operations, according to Financial Tribune.
One of the chemicals whose production has increased is javel water, also known as liquid bleach or just bleach. It is effective in disinfecting viruses, bacteria, fungi and germs and is used to whiten clothes and remove stains.
Karoun Petrochemical Company in Mahshahr, Khuzestan Province, which produced 20 tons of javel water per day before the pandemic hit (Feb 20), has raised output by 500% and now is producing 100 tons of concentrated bleach a day.
Up until the end of March, the company delivered 3,000 tons of javel water, equaling 30 million liters of diluted liquid, to municipalities in Khuzestan, Tehran, Gilan, Fars, Lorestan, Kermanshah and Kohgilouyeh-Boyerahmad provinces.
It also provided the people of the southwestern city of Mahshahr with javel water to disinfect their surroundings and do their share to help prevent the spread of the deadly virus.
Helping Manufactures, Healthcare Workers
Arvand Petrochemical Company has increased its output of caustic chemicals to meet the needs of downstream industries and manufacturers of detergents, sanitary products and caustic cleaners.
Caustic cleaners are cleaning products that contain highly alkaline and corrosive caustic chemicals. They are common in a range of industries, including health and metal cleaning.
The company has almost doubled its output and has produced 20,000 tons in two months.
Other petrochemical companies including Lordegan, Kermanshah, Pazargad, Maroun, Jam and Shazand among others are also producing alcohol-based disinfectants and materials for packaging containers, javel water, and polypropylene granules used in making disposable medical apparel.
The latter is produced on the request of the Ministry of Health and Medical Education -- one million disposable medical gowns used by healthcare workers in hospitals, who have endangered their own health to save people’s lives.
Safety measures against the virus include cleaning hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds each time.
Alcohol-based hand sanitizers are more convenient compared to hand washing with soap and water in most situations, especially outside the home. Hand washing should still be carried out if contamination is seen.
Hand sanitizers that contain at least 60% alcohol or contain a persistent antiseptic kill different kinds of germs and viruses, including enveloped viruses such as the flu virus, the common cold virus and coronavirus.
Iran has confirmed over 70,000 cases of infection with the new coronavirus, with about 4,500 deaths d by Sunday afternoon.
The contagious virus, which was first reported in China in December, has caused an outbreak of respiratory illness in Iran and 210 countries.
The total number of people worldwide who have tested positive for the virus has exceeded 1.8 million with around 110,000 deaths.