Shops using ‘fake’ sanitisers put customers at risk of Covid-19

The Standard Association of Zimbabwe (SAZ) has been urged to monitor hand sanitisers used at the entrances of local supermarkets to ensure they meet the mandatory health standards.

Statutory Instrument (SI) 92 of 2020, mandated SAZ and Bureau de Veritas to conduct conformity assessment procedures to attest compliance through laboratory testing and certification of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).

Speaking during a discussion on local responses to Covid-19: A perspective from NUST which was jointly hosted by the IAm4Byo Fighting Covid-19 trust and CITE last Friday, the NUST Innovation Hub acting director Aleck Ncube, said some supermarkets were putting citizens at risk of contracting Covid-19 by using uncertified hand sanitisers.

“Out there it’s so sad, when you go out there in our communities, people tend to use sanitisers that they make at home without any tests, I remember getting into a shop and somebody was just sanitising someone using a sanitizer that was made out of spirit and they just added a little bit of some other chemicals,” said Ncube.

 “So, in other words, as I come in as a buyer in that shop, I am sanitized thinking that it is a good product but at the same time, I am put under a threat, in other words, chances are that, that sanitiser won’t even work and then I am at risk of getting Covid-19.

Ncube, however, highlighted that it is difficult for citizens to know which sanitiser products have been certified as so many products have flooded the market.

“In most instances for a product that has been bought from a manufacturer that subscribes to SAZ then they will obviously have a logo, if you look at the NUST product, University of Zimbabwe product, they have that SAZ logo to say this has been certified.

“But in most cases, we have seen these SMEs that mushroom all around us, they just make that sanitiser and they supply these small to medium shops and we are obviously at risk so it is very difficult to obviously identify that this is a product that is of good standards,” he said.

Ncube also urged citizens, where possible, to carry their own hand sanitisers so that they can ensure their safety.

“The most important thing is, in most cases, we advise communities to carry their own product that has been SAZ certified, so if I am going to TM Hyper, I need to carry my own small container of a sanitiser product. That kind can spray continuously to ensure that I am safe,” he said.

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