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UPDATED 3/19, 5:30 p.m. ET: Video has emerged of LVMH's efforts to prodice hand sanitizer for hopsitals around France. 

The company also thanked those who were involved in the effort. 

See original story below. 


France is among the many European countries that have been ravaged by the coronavirus. In an effort help, the chairman and chief executive of LVMH Moët Hennessy, Bernard Arnault, has reportedly ordered the fashion house's Perfumes & Cosmetics department to start manufacturing "substantial quantities" of hydroalcoholic gel to combat the shortages of hand sanitizer.

According to a statement from the company, the gel hand will be distributed to public officials in France free of charge, who can then presumably then distribute it appropriately. 

"LVMH will therefore use the production facilities of its Perfumes & Cosmetics brands (Perfums Christian Dior, Guerlain, and Perfums Givenchy) in France to produce large quantities of hydroalcoholic gel on Monday," the statement reads. "The gel will be delivered free of charge to the French health authorities and as a priority from this Monday to the Assistance publique—Hôpitaux de Paris."

The initiative was created to help address the public shortage of hand sanitizer in the country as well as curb the coronavirus outbreak. On Saturday, French Prime Minister Édouard Philippe announced the country will "increase social distancing" by closing all businesses that are not essential to life

"Markets and food shops, pharmacies, gas stations, banks, newspaper and tobacco stores will remain open," Philippe said per CNN. "Places of worships will remain open, but religious ceremonies and gatherings will be postponed." Bars, restaurants, and cinemas have been closed.

As of Saturday, over 4,500 people in France had been infected by the virus, resulting in 91 deaths. Along with closing businesses, the French government is advising people over 70-years-old to stay home.