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Coronavirus: Saskatchewan distillery says $25 hand sanitizer a mistake

Coronavirus: Saskatchewan distillery says $25 hand sanitizer a mistake
WATCH: Minhas Sask is the latest company to create hand sanitizer, but its CEO said a listing of $25 for a 60 ml bottle was a mistake.

An option to purchase a 60 mL bottle of hand sanitizer for $25 during the novel coronavirus pandemic was an error, according to the head of a Saskatchewan distillery.

Hand sanitizer has been in short supply since the COVID-19 outbreak, prompting some distilleries to produce the product using guidelines from the World Health Organization.

Minhas Sask is the latest company to create the cleansing solution, but its president and CEO said their listing of a 60 ml bottle for $25 was a mistake — noting they don’t even have plans to sell that size.

READ MORE: Saskatchewan distilleries make hand sanitizer during COVID-19 pandemic

A 60 ml bottle of hand sanitizer had an advertised price of $25.
A 60 ml bottle of hand sanitizer had an advertised price of $25.

“My business model is always to be very aggressively priced. That would be so against my grain,” Moni Minhas said in an interview with Global News.

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He attributed the confusion to someone working on the distillery’s website, entering “dummy numbers” and accidentally making the product available for purchase at an inflated price.

READ MORE: Hand sanitizer hoarder under investigation after trying to sell bottles for $70 each

Minhas said three bottles were sold for $25 each and all money has been refunded. The product was taken off the company’s website Tuesday morning.

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Asked whether $25 for 60 mL should be considered price gouging, Minhas said he recently saw a 50 mL bottle selling for $6.99, which he considered “price gouging all the way.”

When his 50 mL bottles do hit the market in mid-April, Minhas said the price will be $1.79.

Until then, the distillery plans to distribute hand sanitizer free of charge to frontline essential services including shelters, food banks and 911 call centres.

The donations of 375 mL and 750 mL bottles are expected to begin by Friday at the latest.

Coronavirus outbreak: ‘We’re coming after you’ Ford warns businesses price gouging during pandemic
Coronavirus outbreak: ‘We’re coming after you’ Ford warns businesses price gouging during pandemic

Questions about COVID-19? Here are some things you need to know:

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Health officials caution against all international travel. Returning travellers across Canada are legally obligated to self-isolate for 14 days, beginning March 26, in case they develop symptoms and to prevent spreading the virus to others. In Saskatchewan, international travellers are already required to self-isolate for 14 days upon their return to the province.

READ MORE: How coronavirus launched a ‘caremongering’ movement

Symptoms can include fever, cough and difficulty breathing — very similar to a cold or flu. Some people can develop a more severe illness. People most at risk of this include older adults and people with severe chronic medical conditions like heart, lung or kidney disease. If you develop symptoms, contact public health authorities.

To prevent the virus from spreading, experts recommend frequent handwashing and coughing into your sleeve. They also recommend minimizing contact with others, staying home as much as possible and maintaining a distance of two metres from other people if you go out.

For full COVID-19 coverage from Global News, click here.

With files from Global’s Ryan Rocca.