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Coronavirus in SA | Dis-Chem discontinues homemade sanitiser initiative after ingredients sell out

13 March 2020 - 05:50 By Cebelihle Bhengu
The World Health Organisation (WHO) has declared coronavirus a global pandemic.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) has declared coronavirus a global pandemic.
Image: Nhac NGUYEN / AFP

Dis-Chem has abandoned its homemade hand sanitiser initiative after products flew off the shelves due to high demand, as Covid-19 continues to spread globally and in SA.

Dis-Chem trended on Twitter earlier this week for advising its consumers to make their own sanitisers by mixing essential oils such as tea tree oil and lavender oil.

TimesLIVE learnt on Thursday that the initiative was discontinued after the supermarket ran out of stock of the products.

“We had to remove this signage in-store due to lack of availability of all the ingredients. This is due to global demand in sales after the recent announcement made regarding the coronavirus in SA,” it said before committing to restocking the products.

The initiative received mixed reviews on social media as some elected to buy hand sanitiser, saying the ingredients listed by the pharmacy were expensive.

A scan of some of the products from the store website paints a picture of the amount a consumer would fork out for a mixture of home-made sanitiser. Witch Hazel (200ml) retails for R56.96, tea tree oil R68.95 and vitamin E oil (50ml) goes for R69.95.

Hand sanitiser (250/300ml), depending on choice of brand, sells for between R14.99 and R69.99 at Dis-Chem, Pick n Pay and Clicks.

A Free State man who was reportedly the first South African to have contracted coronavirus without travelling outside the country has now tested negative.

Health minister Dr Zweli Mkhize said on Thursday night that the man was tested at a private facility in the Free State. Mkhize said that because the man “did not fit the case definition”, the test was done again at the National Health Laboratory Service in Johannesburg. That test came back negative.

As a result, the number of South Africans who have tested positive for coronavirus is now 16.