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Sunday, October 20th, 2019 08:00 |
Retired President Mwai Kibaki. PD/FILE

MONEY:  Kenya Bureau of Standards (Kebs) has banned production of Zoe, Velvex, Vitaclean and 27 other hand sanitiser brands for failing to meet health standards.

Coming at a time the country is experiencing a surge in number of people testing positive for Covid-19, fears abound that substandard products are undermining efforts “flatten the curve”, and help curb rapid spread of Covid-19.

In a statement, the standards regulator said it had ascertained that the brands did not meet minimum standards and ordered their immediate withdrawal from the market saying they gave consumers a false sense of security believing they have properly sanitised.

Market surveillance

“Following market surveillance activities, Kebs wishes to communicate to the public the list of hand sanitizers that have been ascertained as not meeting the requirements of KS EAS 789; Kenya Standard specification for instant hand sanitizers,” said Kebs in a statement.

Other brands whose production and sale has been suspended include Scental, Super-guard, Safi, Velvex, MCL, Goodlife, Spot X among others.

As a minimum requirement, hand sanitizers must contain 60 per cent alcohol by volume and have antiseptic properties, such that they can be used to disinfect hands on their own when soap and water are not available.

“It is against this background that we share with the public the below listed substandard/none-compliant sanitisers which have been found not to meet the standard and whose permits have been suspended with immediate effect to enable consumers make informed choices that will help to ‘flatten the curve’ of spread and infection of Covid-19,” Kebs added.

Kebs has ordered the manufacturers to recall all the substandard sanitisers from the market and institute corrective actions whose effectiveness shall be confirmed by the regulator before the suspension of permits is lifted.

Kebs warned that failure to adhere to the set standards contravenes Standards Act, Cap 496, and called on Kenyans to be on the lookout for products suspected to be substandard. 

As of Saturday, Kenya had 25,837 coronavirus cases, 699 of which were reported on Saturday.

Consumers can verify product by sending the code underneath the product’s S Mark to 20023, according to Kebs.

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