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By Orville Williams

Amid the rush to acquire sanitising agents to defend against the COVID-19 pandemic, one health official is warning the public to be cautious when purchasing these items.

As the number of imported coronavirus cases begins to rise across the Caribbean, there has been a marked increase in the purchase of sanitising and disinfecting agents. In some countries, persons have been looking to capitalise on the urgency, by establishing illegitimate markets for the products, to satisfy the rise in demand.

Chief Health Inspector, Sharon Martin, said although this is not a practice common to Antigua and Barbuda, residents must be cautious and ensure they are purchasing the items from reputable sources.

“No, we have never really [seen that]. Persons know that they are supposed to go to reputable sources to [acquire the items], so if they choose to do otherwise, then it’s up to them, but they know supermarkets, grocery shops and so on – that would normally have these products on their shelves – those are the places we expect them to go,” she said.

Martin also spoke on the viral instructions on social media on making homemade hand sanitiser, noted to include the use of Isopropyl alcohol, aloe vera gel and essential oil. She said that this will not be getting her endorsement. “I don’t know about it and I don’t recommend it. If it’s not factory made and sold, I am not going to approve anything on the sideway. Because, if it has adverse effects, then I don’t want it to be said that I [approved],” she explained.

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