Rwanda: COVID-19 - Rwanda FDA Bans Use of 'Methanol Alcohol' Hand Sanitizer

Rwanda Food and Drugs Authority (FDA), has banned the use of '99% Methanol Alcohol' hand sanitizer, packed by KVM Co. Ltd, which has been used as a measure to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus pandemic, effective, Thursday, July 02.

The development comes after concerns emerged that some people including business owners and consumers, encourage the use of fake hand sanitizers as a means of making money.

However, Rwanda FDA announced that the warning is addressed both to the sellers of this product and also the public.

The ban of this product according to the organisation follows the potential presence of methanol, a toxic substance when absorbed through skin or ingested.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Methanol is a toxic alcohol that is used industrially as a solvent, pesticide and alternative fuel source.

Exposure to the corrosive substance can result in nausea, vomiting, headache, blurred vision, permanent blindness, seizures, coma, and permanent damage to the nervous system and death.

"Based on the fact that this drug shows potential presence of methanol, and also the information accumulated on the same product, the Rwanda FDA has banned all drugs labelled, 99% Methanol Alcohol 100 ml, packed by KVM Co. Ltd" reads part of the statement issued on the same day.

Therefore, the statement adds, "Rwanda FDA warns the public especially, people who are still using it or selling it to stop the illegal exercise."

Alternatively, in a bid to ensure safety travel, the public has been reminded to regularly wash hands and use hand sanitizer with at least 60% ethanol alcohol or 70% isopropanol as part of the measures put in place to mitigate the possible risk of spreading the pandemic.

Rwanda has so far recorded a total of 1,042 coronavirus cases of which 480 patients have fully recovered and discharged from the treating facilities.

Owing to the pandemic however, the country has reported 3 fatalities since the first case was detected in March.

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