Mexican technology supplier Interglass has collaborated with a glass manufacturer Vidrio Formas to distribute a vital hand sanitiser which tackles Covid-19.

Interglass worked with a national research institute to develop an anti-viral handcream which neutralises the Covid-19 virus.

At the height of the crisis in Mexico, Guadalajara-based Interglass decided it wanted to do something to help.

““During those weeks no one knew what to do and were paralysed. Many companies were closed and no one wanted to make purchases or move, everyone was a little bit terrified. But we wanted to do something positive,” said Jose Luis Velez, Interglass Managing Director.

It contacted compatriot glass manufacturer Vidrio Formas to ask for help to produce the glass bottles which the hand cream could be dispensed in.

Both companies were keen to do something to help. They agreed that the cream should be used by workers at the glass plant as well as to be donated to vulnerable sectors of society such as elderly care homes and hospitals.

Interglass converted its R&D capacity and laboratories into a space dedicated to creating the handcream.

The facilities would usually be used to find solutions and improve efficiencies in glass manufacturing but became hubs of anti-covid activity as workers sought to find an appropriate sanitising cream.

Teammates worked with a national research institute to develop an appropriate hand cream that would pass all the requisite health and safety tests.

“It was completely out of our usual expertise and scope as it involved health matters. We had to obtain certain requirements and go through different paths to what we were used to in glass. We were working on human health rather than glass moulds for example,” said Mr Velez.

In just six weeks colleagues managed to develop an appropriate hand cream as well as distribute it. Usually, a new product for the glass industry would take about a year to launch.

“The good thing about this was we were able to see that by having a common goal, all the organisation focused and were united towards this objective.

"We were amazed at how fast we were able to move considering it was a completely new field of research for us.

“We were proud at how the company was able to act so fast and to study, with the help of the research institute, how the virus works and what was needed to create this product.”

The anti-viral sanitiser is a handcream which moisturises the hand of the user. It creates a film on the hand which prevents the virus from being able to survive. It is different to anti-bacterial gel which is alcohol-based and can harm the skin if applied on a regular basis.

The cream was dispensed into a 12oz, 375 ml flint glass container supplied by Vidrio Formas and distributed among glass workers and elderly care homes.