COVID-19 vaccines are among looted items in South Africa’s chaos that have rocked the nation following the jailing of former president Jacob Zuma.
The South African Pharmacy Council (SAPC) said in a statement on Wednesday that more than 90 pharmacies have been destroyed and looted in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng provinces, creating a danger of wrong medicine use in the country.
“Among the looted items are COVID-19 vaccines and scheduled medicines, which when used without proper pharmacist counselling on storage and dosage may result in harm to one’s health,” SAPC said in a statement attributed to its CEO Vincent Tlala.
“As such, we urge those who looted these medicines and health products to not use them or give to other persons but rather return them to their nearest pharmacy for proper disposal. We also caution members of the public to only source medicines from legitimate health establishments such as pharmacies,” it added.
Officials said at least 72 people have died in the violence, with several hundred arrests made. At least 10 people died in a stampede at a mall in Soweto, Johannesburg. The South African military has been called in to reinforce police.
MEDIA STATEMENT 14 July 2021
South Africa Pharmacy Council distraught at the looting of pharmacies, destruction of health care services and livelihoods pic.twitter.com/dTAWcrlFUE
— South African Pharmacy Council (@OfficialSAPC) July 14, 2021