Kampala, Uganda — The Uganda Manufacturers Association (UMA) has promised to use the up to 7.3million liters of alcohol in the stores of their members to produce affordable sanitizers. In turn, government has committed to support their effort at maximum production by waivers on VAT and excise duty waivers .
This after a meeting today between State Minister of Finance Evelyn Anite, alcohol and spirit manufactures, National Drugs Authority (NDA) and UMA to discuss the shortage and exorbitant prices of hand sanitizers in the wake of the #COVID19 pandemic that's hit the world.
"I thank the Uganda Manufacturers Association and the spirit manufacturers who agreed to step in and combat the hand sanitizer shortage by using the 7.3 million liters of alcohol in their facilities to make available, affordable and quality sanitizers for the protection of against #COVIDー19," Anite said.
During the meeting UNBS & NDA pledged to fast track the registration of quality hand sanitizers but also assured of increased surveillance across the country to ensure fake sanitizers are not released onto the market.
The minister said during the meeting with the spirit manufacturers, UNBS and National Drug Authority pledged to fast-track the registration of quality hand sanitizers "but also assured of increased surveillance across the country to ensure fake sanitizers are not released onto the market."
The demand for hand sanitizers went up as the countries pushed to control the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (Covid-19). The prices jumped from 25,000 to more than 120,000 Shillings.
Currently, there are only two certified companies: Saraya and Go hi-tech to make sanitizers. As of Monday morning, 48 companies had applied for certification to make sanitizers. The minister didn't reveal the companies that have applied to manufacture sanitizers.
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It will take Uganda National Bureau of Standards (UNBS) between 4-7 days to certify these companies, Anite said. UMA chairman Barbara Mulwana and UNBS Executive Director Ben Manyindo attended the meeting.
More than 343,000 cases have been confirmed globally and at least 650 coming from Africa. Some 99,000 people have recovered. Uganda has since reported one case of Covid-19 of a Ugandan who jetted in from Dubai last week.
Ugandans have also been advised to wash their hands using soap and stay away from congested places where possible.
On Sunday, President Yoweri Museveni said Ugandans should also minimize the use of public transport to curb the spread of COVID 19. He also urged all Ugandans to avoid all forms of greetings, including elbow greeting and shaking hands.