Police seize 'Covid prevention tea'
01 July 2020 | Crime
The police on Monday seized illegal 'Covid-19 prevention tea' during a raid on Chinese shops in Walvis Bay.
The traditional Chinese medicine had been in demand in view of the increasing number of virus cases at the harbour town.
“It is clearly a case of exploitation and extortion and will not be tolerated. It must be a syndicate because there is no doubt that this tea is sold nationwide,” Walvis Bay constituency councillor Knowledge Ipinge said yesterday.
According to Ipinge, residents had informed him of the traditional Chinese medicine being sold in town. He posed as a customer at a local Chinese shop and bought a packet of tea, which cost N$400 and contained seven teabags filled with unidentified granules. A sticker on the package reads: “2020-nCOV Prevention Prescription”.
“After I bought the package, I turned to the police and the regional governor,” said Ipinge.
“When we searched the store, the Chinese owner was wearing full personal protective equipment. That is strange as it indicates that the tea isn't successful,” said the politician.
According to him there was a register at the shop showing that a large amount of the tea had been sold and that many other residents had placed orders.
The regional police commander, Commissioner Andreas Nelumbo, said the police had seized the tea from two Chinese shops in Kuisebmond and a shop in the industrial area.
“The confiscated tea was sent to the forensic police laboratory, where the contents will be examined. We want to determine if it contains illegal, banned or harmful substances,” said Nelumbo.
“We are also investigating whether the product was imported illegally.”
The chief medical officer of the Erongo region, Dr Amir Shaker, said yesterday that the tea was not approved as medicine by the ministry of health and social services.
“We also don't know what the product contains,” he warned.
Meanwhile, the number of Covid-19 cases in Namibia continued to increase yesterday. According to health minister Kalumbi Shangula, seven new cases had been reported in Walvis Bay.
Of the 203 confirmed cases in Namibia, 24 have recovered and 179 remain active.