Fire at Cape Covid-19 vaccine factory 'not foul play', operations not affected
The Biovac biopharmaceutical company in Cape Town said there was no evidence foul play led to a fire at its factory in Pinelands, which produces Covid-19 vaccines, on Sunday morning.
City of Cape Town mayoral committee member for safety and security JP Smith said the city received a call shortly before 5am on Sunday that the Biovac building was alight.
He said fire crews from Roeland Street, Epping, and Bellville attended to the scene and the fire was extinguished before 8am.
“There is no evidence this was an attempted attack on the Covid-19 vaccine stores as is being speculated since the preliminary investigation suggests the fire’s origin relates to an H-Vac fault,” said Smith.
“Due to the prompt response of our fire services only a separate building suffered damage while the laboratory itself was completely protected,” he said.
He said the scene was handed over to the SAPS for further investigation as a standard procedure.
Smith called on people to reject fake news spread on social media as it created unnecessary fear.
In a statement, Biovac said no personnel or products were affected and there would be no affect on the normal operations of manufacturing and delivering vaccines.