Jewellery industry players are donating financial assistance, masks and hand sanitisers, among others, to governments and medical institutions amid the battle against the novel coronavirus.
India’s Gem & Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC) has shelled out Rs 50 crores (around US$6.62 million) to assist daily wage workers in the country’s gemstone and jewellery industry and to fund government initiatives to fight the disease.
According to Pramod Agrawal, chairman of GJEPC, the spread of the virus has severely affected this worker demographic, which contributes 7 per cent to India’s total gross domestic product and consists of a work force of more than five million.
The funds are also aimed at assisting the government in building medical facilities and offering other health services.
Hong Kong jewellery retailer Chow Tai Fook Jewellery Group Ltd for its part is now manufacturing surgical masks using its high-standard dust-free cleanroom technology at its T MARK diamond processing factory in Lunjiao, Shunde.
The facility has the capacity to make around 100,000 face masks per day, majority of which would be distributed to Chow Tai Fook employees first. The retailer said masks would later be donated to other institutions once production increases.
The jeweller has more than 30,000 employees worldwide, according to Bobby Liu, executive director of Chow Tai Fook.
French luxury conglomerate LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton SE, which owns several jewellery houses such as Bulgari, Chaumet and Fred, is also supplying millions of surgical masks in France.
LVMH said it had secured an initial delivery of 10 million masks from a Chinese supplier. The order will be repeated for at least four weeks in similar quantities. It is currently looking at sending masks to Italy and Spain as well.
The group earlier repurposed its Perfumes & Cosmetics laboratories to manufacture and distribute hand sanitising gels in France free of charge.
Bulgari meanwhile made separate contributions to the scientific and medical community. It will now manufacture, together with its fragrances partner ICR (Industrie Cosmetiche Riunite, Lodi), hand sanitisers to be supplied to all medical facilities through the Protezione Civile (Italian Civil Protection Department). The hand gel will be distributed in 75ml recyclable bottles.
Bulgari earlier gave monetary aid to Lazzaro Spallanzani Hospital in Rome to acquire a modern, high-definition 3D microscope to help study coronavirus infections.