Germaphobes have long known about the hand sanitiser companies on the ASX, but the rest of Australia is now learning about them too.

New Zealand company Zoono (ASX:ZNO) has seen sales surge, but its stock began moving even before the first case of coronavirus was reported in China in December.

The stock has moved 558 per cent since mid-October, when it began running.

Zoono said yesterday it had been “inundated” with queries from the public and shareholders as to just how effective its hand sanitiser was at combatting the spread of the new virus.

Zoono makes anti-microbial sprays designed to kill germs and treat acne.


“Zoono is confident that it is extremely well positioned to be part of the solution to both coronavirus and other new virus threats,” the company said.

“Zoono’s Z71 Microbe Shield Surface Sanitiser was successfully tested in 2014 against bovine coronavirus… Test results confirmed a 99.99 per cent efficacy in five minutes.”

The antimicrobial product has not, however, been tested on the current Chinese coronavirus. It is currently undergoing testing in Germany, results yet to be released.

Yet as people around the world are panicking and in their fear hand sanitiser is hand sanitiser, whether it’s been proved to work against this coronavirus or not.

Zoono says product orders worth more than $NZ1m ($966,555) were received in the last two weeks of January, predominately from China and Hong Kong.

Online consumer sales saw a record of $49,000 in one day, and the company is being approached by major companies for new distribution arrangements.

Holista CollTech (ASX:HCT) has also benefited from the spread of the virus, saying its hand sanitiser has sold out in Malaysia.

Yesterday, Holista CollTech CEO Dr Rajen Manicka offered no comfort for people worried about the spread of the virus.

“People are panicking and I don’t think the panic is unjustified,” Manicka told Stockhead.

“There have been 138 deaths and this virus unlike the others tends to be contagious even in incubation — even before you realise you’re sick. That is a big difference.”

Yesterday the World Health Organization declared coronavirus a global emergency.

As of this morning there had been 9171 infections around the world, over 8000 of which are in China, and 213 deaths, all of which occurred in China.

SARS killed 774 people and infected 8,096 in 2002 and 2003.

On current known figures the China coronavirus has a fatality rate of 2.3 per cent.

A 2 per cent fatality rate is considered very high for a virus.