Covid-19: Curb rogue traders

Monday March 23 2020

Alarm over the new coronavirus (‘Covid-19’) pandemic has caused a run on disinfectants/sanitizers, face masks, etc., some of which are now said to be out of stock.

In any case, unscrupulous traders have been taking advantage of the pandemic to make a killing, charging outrageously inflated prices for the items.

The deadly virus – which had already killed over 13,000 people worldwide by noon yesterday – has exposed inadequacies in our domestic manufacturing ability and capability.

There is a frenzied demand for the hand sanitizers caused by panic over the coronavirus pandemic. But this should have been expected, propelling local manufacturers to increase production.

It is also saddening that the disinfectants and hand sanitizers that are available in some outlets do not meet regulatory requirements.

The Tanzania Bureau of Standards (TBS) says the minimum alcohol content in hand sanitizes must be 60 percent by volume.


However, most of the sanitizer products that are on sale are of a low quality, thus increasing chances of the Covid-19 spreading far and wide.

We call on the relevant authorities to work round the clock to ensure that high quality life-saving products are available – and in sufficient quantities.

The Health ministry and TBS in particular should ensure that unscrupulous traders are stamped out to save Tanzanian lives from the malady.