Forty-eight per cent of hand sanitizer and face masks produced locally have failed to meet the mandatory health standards, recent laboratory tests have shown.
The tests were conducted by the Standards Association of Zimbabwe (SAZ) and Bureau de Veritas after the gazetting of Statutory Instrument (SI) 92 of 2020.
SI 92 of 2020 sets the standards required for the manufacture, sale and disposal of apparel, materials and equipment intended to be worn or used as protection against any formidable infectious disease by different categories of persons in their interaction with the public.
The Herald has established that 24 out of 52 companies whose sanitiser samples were tested failed to meet the set standard.
Industry and Commerce Minister Sekai Nzenza confirmed that a number of companies failed the test and Government was now working with them to improve on quality. She said:
A number of companies have not met the standards and quality. We are working with the companies that have failed tests and already we have recorded positive improvements from them.
SAZ is currently working with the companies whose products were non-compliant, which are at various stages of conducting corrective action to ensure that their products meet the prescribed standards after their PPE failed the initial laboratory tests.
Nzenza further revealed that a taskforce, comprising of representatives from the Ministry of Industry and Commerce, Ministry of Health and Child Care, Attorney General’s office, Police Anti-counterfeit & Anti-smuggling unit and SAZ, has been set up to monitor and ensure compliance with the set standards.