Tees

Coronavirus: Hand sanitiser deal 'secures 100,000 bottles'

Tees Valley mayor Ben Houchen
Image caption Tees Valley mayor Ben Houchen said the sanitiser would help protect key workers

Thousands of bottles of hand sanitiser are to be distributed to health workers and carers across Teesside.

Fifty-thousand will be supplied to schools, social workers and carers by councils in the area with a further 50,000 units sent to GP practices, police and fire brigades.

It has been bought from a Stockton-based nail and beauty firm by the Tees Valley Combined Authority.

Tees Valley mayor Ben Houchen said he was "delighted" with the deal.

Each 100ml bottle cost the authority £2.50 - equivalent to a wholesale price, according to the Local Democracy Reporting Service.

"For many on the frontline, hand sanitiser has become almost impossible to find," Mr Houchen said.

"We need to make sure that people, especially those who are doing heroic work and who come into contact with lots of people in their roles as key workers, or who help the most vulnerable, can get the support they need."

The first batch was delivered to the authority on Thursday and would be given out as gifts in the coming days.

Alan Carter, co-owner of Millennium Nails Europe, said the firm approached the authority in a bid to help slow the spread of the virus.

It usually sells the liquid to beauty technicians who clean their hands before tending to customers' nails.

"We have given a lot of hand sanitiser out to our friends and relations, and to an old people's home in Wynyard.

"Through that we got in touch with the authorities and sold them the 100ml bottles at a very good price.

"I know of one supplier in Scotland who sold them to the NHS at £4.95 a bottle."

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