Police seize ‘prevention tea’

30 June 2020 | Local News

Walvis Bay · [email protected]


Police on Monday seized expensive “illegal Covid-19 prevention tea” during a raid on Chinese shops in Walvis Bay.

The traditional Chinese medicine had been in demand given the increasing number of virus cases at the harbour town

“It is clearly a case of exploitation and extortion and will not be tolerated. It must be a syndicate because there is no doubt that this tea is sold nationwide,” said Knowledge Ipinge, Walvis Bay constituency councillor, yesterday.

According to Iipinge, he was made aware of the traditional Chinese medicine being sold in town after being notified by residents.

He claimed to be a customer at a local Chinese shop and bought a packet of tea - at a whopping N$400 per pack containing seven tea bags filled with unknown granules. A sticker on the package reads “2020-nCOV Prevention Prescription”.

A Chinese businessman, known only as Simon, gave Ipinge a pamphlet with a short description, saying that the formula contains essential qi and eliminates evil spirits [sic]. The tea purports to increases a person’s immunity and the balance of yin and yang in the body. According to the pamphlet, immunity against Covid-19 is not only heightened, but also fights any virus infection and flu symptom.

“According to the experience of Anti-Covid-19 medicines used in China, the earlier the intervention through the Chinese herbal medicine, the better the effect will be [sic],” it states.

The product can be ordered from the Chinese Natural Herb & Health Clinic in Windhoek.

“After I bought the package, I turned to the police and the regional governor,” Ipinge said. “When we searched the store, the Chinese owner was wearing full personal protective equipment. That is strange as it indicates that the tea isn’t successful,” the politician said.

According to him, there was a register at the shop showing that a large amount of the tea had already sold to the community and that many residents have placed orders.

Seized

Erongo police regional commander Commissioner Andreas Nelumbo, said that the police had secured the tea from two Chinese shops located in the Kuisebmond and a shop in the industrial area.

“The confiscated tea has been sent to the forensic police laboratory, where the contents are being examined. We want to determine if it contains illegal, banned or harmful substances,” said Nelumbo, adding: “We are also investigating whether the product was imported illegally.”

The Chief Medical Officer of the Erongo region, Dr Amir Shaker, said yesterday that the tea was not approved as a medicine by the ministry of health, which is a requirement.

“We also don't know what the product contains,” he said.