The Ministry of Health and Social Development is alerting the public to be aware of falsified, counterfeit, substandard products that are being sold on the Internet to prevent, diagnose and treat COVID-19.
Chief of Drugs and Pharmaceuticals in the Ministry of Health and Social Development, Mrs. Gracia Wheatley-Smith warned that to date, no in-home test has been manufactured and counterfeit chloroquine tablets are now being sold.
Mrs. Wheatley-Smith said, “Counterfeit tests may not have in any testing ingredient, may have a wrong testing ingredient and will therefore give a wrong result, which may lead to unnecessary stress, undue panic or a false sense of security.”
Counterfeit medicines may not contain any active pharmaceutical ingredient or may contain some other substances that are harmful and if taken may lead to death.
The Ministry therefore advises individuals who have any other concern about COVID-19 to call the Public Health Unit at 468-2274. Persons who are feeling unwell with symptoms such as shortness of breath, cough, fever or fatigue are urged to call the Medical Hotline at 852-7650.
Persons are further reminded to refrain from visiting the doctor if they are feeling ill and contact the Medical Hotline for medical assessment and guidance.
There is no known vaccine and no specific antiviral treatment against the coronavirus. Therefore, prevention is critical to avoid being exposed to COVID-19. Persons should practice everyday preventive actions to help reduce the risk of respiratory viruses by frequent hand-washing, cough and sneeze etiquette, avoiding contact with visibly sick people, staying home when feeling ill and practicing social distancing.