by Ester Mbathera and Okeri Ngutjinazo

ERONGO police officers have launched an investigation into the sale of an alleged Covid-19 prevention formula being touted by a Chinese national at Kuisebmond, Walvis Bay.

POLICE SEARCH … Members of the police’s investigative unit during a raid on a Chinese shop at Kuisebmond, Walvis Bay, on Monday afternoon. The police were called to the establishment after it was reported that the owner of the shop was selling a formula that is claimed to prevent Covid-19. Photo: Ester Mbathera

On Monday afternoon, officers raided several shops and warehouses as well as a house owned by Chinese businessman Yu Simon who was selling the formula.

According to an advert in one shop, the formula helps “improve the immunity of human body and adjust viscera function and achieve physiological state of balance of Yin and Yang of the bady…(sic).”

The police found several packs of the formula in one shop, at Yu’s house and at a warehouse. The packs contain granules which are dissolved in hot water before drinking.

Erongo regional police commander, commissioner Andreas Nelumbu said an investigation has been launched and the formula has been sent to the police laboratory for tests.

“If the tests confirm that there is some medicinal value then he will definitely be charged under the Medical Act because he may not sell medicine without complying with the rules and regulations under that act. We don’t really know if it has medicinal value or he is just trying to make money out of the (Covid-19) situation,” he said.

During questioning at his shop, Cash and Carry at Kuisebmond on Monday, which The Namibian witnessed, Yu told the police that he acquired the formula from a Chinese doctor in Windhoek.

He also claimed to have an authorisation certificate to consume and sell the formula, prescribed by his doctor who is also a Chinese national operating from Windhoek.

Yu also told the police that his 25 employees were also taking the formula.

He sold seven sachets for N$400.

Employees in the shop, however, denied having taken the formula.

“They didn’t give us the tea, they only asked us to inform the community that we are selling the medicine for Covid-19. We sold about seven packs and some customers bought two packs,” said a sales assistant who spoke on condition of anonymity.

When The Namibian visited a Chinese health centre in Windhoek to verify if Yu was their distributor, the shop manager denied having such medicine.

Health minister Kalumbi Shangula cautioned the public against taking these medicines which feed off the public’s fear and ignorance.

He told The Namibian yesterday that he has not heard of other incidents where people are claiming to sell Covid-19 teas or medicine.

“It is dangerous for people to get such treatment from unauthorised sources. If they [the public] need any information, they should contact the ministry,” he said.

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