Slovenian makers of disinfectants are working around the clock to meet the spike in demand, in particular for hand sanitiser, caused by the coronavirus epidemic. Production has been ramped up despite some disruptions in the supply of raw materials.
The biggest producer of medical disinfectants in Slovenia is the Trzin-based Kimi, which also supplies UKC Ljubljana, the country's central hospital, and other health centres across Slovenia.
Kimi CEO Zoran Jerala told the STA that the majority of foreign providers of disinfectants stopped their supply even before the coronavirus crisis truly kicked off. They have limited their supply to their own countries due to increased demand.
The company, which is now producing disinfectants only for Slovenia, keeps supplying hospitals, nursing homes as well as companies. Kimi's focus is on securing the purchase of raw materials. So far, the company has not experienced any major issues.
Jerala also pointed out though that frequent and thorough hand washing is good enough protection at home and that sanitisers should be used only if soap and water are not available. Hospitals, nursing homes and other critical services and risk groups are significantly more in need of such supplies and should take priority.
Meanwhile, Ilirija in Ljubljana is experiencing issues in securing raw materials. Ilirija director Danijel Petrovič said that packaging and alcohol are in short supply due to border closures and transport restrictions. Ilirija's current output of disinfectants is up to ten times bigger than usual.
Both Kimi and Ilirija have refrained from raising their prices despite surging demand, quoting ethical reasons.
Krka, one of major pharmaceutical companies in the country, does not make hand sanitiser, but it does produce highly-active disinfectants designed to sanitise surfaces.
The company has told STA that it has been supplying Slovenian health centres and hospitals as well as others, including schools, hotels, companies and offices. The production has been pressing ahead without any complications.