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18 March, 2020

Jim Turnbull owns a food production facility in the Romanian region of Transylvania and was due to return to the UK on Tuesday but decided to stay on. He has begun using the alcohol by-product from his elderflower gin distillation to make a hand sanitiser following guidance by the World Health Organization.

“Given the crisis we thought to donate it to our local community – where we get our workforce from,” says Mr Turnbull, 68, who lives in the village of Saschiz, which has a population of some 2,000.

Romania has so far had 260 confirmed cases of coronavirus but no deaths. However, its rural population, which makes up around 46% of the country’s 19 million people, is ageing and could be vulnerable. Bars and restaurants have been shut but Bogdan Tanase, head of Romania’s Doctors’ Alliance, told the BBC Romania was “ill-prepared to deal with an epidemic”.

The article appeared here on BBC