In less than six weeks police crackdowns has led to the confiscation of almost 6-m Ivermectin tablets, “showing just how tightly this country has merged with global criminal networks cashing in on the pandemic,” reported Daily Maverick (7 March 2021).

According to South African Health Products Regulatory Authority (SAHPRA), nearly a million tablets are being pumped into SA each week with a single tablet selling for about R500.

In a statement, Interpol said in one crackdown, “some 400 ampoules - equivalent to around 2 400 doses - containing a fake vaccine were found at a warehouse in Germiston, Gauteng, where officers also recovered a large quantity of fake 3M masks and arrested three Chinese nationals and a Zambian national”.

Ivermectin is not registered for human use in SA and is the focus of intense debate as wellas court action about its accessibility, and whether it could successfully treat Covid-19. At present, it may only be used under urgent circumstances, and as part of a “controlled compassionate use” programme, while approval from SAHPRA is awaited.

 

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