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Louis Vuitton owner and French luxury goods company LVMH announced on Sunday that it will start making hand sanitizer and distributing it free of charge to hospitals in France to help the country fight the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak.

This move comes as France is in the middle of a nationwide shortage of antiviral supplies amid the coronavirus pandemic. 

More than 148 people in France have died from the virus so far and 6,655 remain infected.

Spread through human-to-human transmission, the novel coronavirus is a contagious respiratory illness that causes fever, cough, and shortness of breath. 

There are currently 184,976 confirmed cases worldwide. 

LVMH is set to produce around 12 tons of hand sanitizer this week, which will be delivered to 39 public hospitals in Paris. 

“I wish to thank LVMH for acting so quickly,” the Chief of Paris Hospitals Martine Hirsch told AFP. LVMH made and confirmed their offer to make hand sanitizer for hospitals over the span of the weekend.

While hospitals in Paris have not completely run out of hand sanitizer just yet, their supplies are running increasingly low, according to a spokesperson for the Paris hospital system. 

Due to the hand sanitizer shortage, some pharmacies have started limiting customers to one bottle per person. 

Meanwhile, the French government has ordered retailers to limit the price of a single 100ml bottle of hand sanitizer to no more than $3.30 after some businesses attempted to profit off of the shortage. 

In its continued efforts to contain the spread of the coronavirus, France has also shut down restaurants and non-essential stores, which went into effect on Sunday.

You can see all of Global Citizen's COVID-19 coverage here.

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