National Compliance and Regulatory Authority
State Minister in the Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries, Floyd Green (right), listens attentively to a point being made by Chief Operating Officer of Paramount Trading, Vaughn Phang (left), at a meeting held at the Ministry’s Hope Gardens office with manufacturers and distributors of disinfecting agents on March 12, 2020. At second right is Chief Technical Director in the Ministry, Monique Gibbs - Contributed photo
Jamaicans are being urged to consider the use of alternative means of sanitisation in light of the threat of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).
Against the background of some brands of disinfectants and hand sanitisers which are in high demand, Minister of State in the Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries, Floyd Green, who made the call, said there are other products that are readily available in the marketplace for use.
They include bleach, Dettol, Salve and anti-bacterial soaps.
“We do appreciate that there are some product lines that are in high demand and a number of those would be manufactured overseas. However, we think it is very important that people recognise that there are alternatives and that the alternatives are in very solid supply,” he said.
“A number of these are even more effective than some of the ones we have grown accustomed to. We are working with our private sector partners and the Consumer Affairs Commission, which will do their own promotion of the suggested alternatives,” he added.
Green was speaking at a meeting held this morning at the Ministry’s Hope Gardens offices with manufacturers and distributors of disinfecting agents such as alcohol and bleach.
He noted that “local producers of sanitisation products will also be ramping up production and manufacturing hours to meet increased demand”.
Green said Paramount Trading, a supplier of chemical raw material, has indicated that they will be making available certain raw materials at low cost to some suppliers to produce the necessary sanitisation products.
He said rum distiller J. Wray and Nephew has also committed to making 100,000 litres of pure alcohol available to the national health sector to ease the pressure on sanitisation essentials.
Meanwhile, Green is cautioning the public against the use of inferior products, which purport to be useful for sanitisation as well as the mixing of certain ingredients.
“We have asked our National Compliance and Regulatory Authority (NCRA) to focus on items such as disinfectants and hand sanitisers, the products which are in high demand. What we do not want are inferior products being passed off to customers and giving a false sense of safety when they do not contain the requisite ingredients,” he informed.
In her remarks, Chief Executive Officer of the NCRA, Lorice Edwards-Brown, also echoed Green’s sentiments.
She emphasised that her entity will continue to do the necessary research as “not all products out there can do the job they are purporting to do”.
“We are advising that people stick to the information being given by the necessary authorities. It is a joined up government approach in dealing with this issue,” she said.