- South African authorities have arrested four foreign nationals and seized a number of ampoules of fake Covid-19 vaccines
- The news was revealed by the International Criminal Police Organization (Interpol) on Wednesday, 3 March
- Authorities raided a warehouse in Germiston, Gauteng where they recovered the fake Covid-19 vaccines along with fake 3M masks
The International Criminal Police Organization (Interpol) revealed on Wednesday that South African authorities seized hundreds of fake Covid-19 vaccines and made arrests. The international policing authority confirmed that an equivalent of 2 400 doses was found in Gauteng.
Authorities also found a number of fake 3M (a disposable respirator mask) masks. According to National Police Spokesperson Brigadier Vish Naidoo, the government has adopted an integrated multi-disciplinary law enforcement approach since Covid-19 arrived in the country.
Police arrested one Zambian national and three Chinese nationals in connection with the fake Covid-19 vaccine in the country.
A statement released by Interpol revealed that the arrests followed a global alert issued by them warning that vaccines would be a 'prime target' for criminal networks.
TimesLIVE reported that the raid on the warehouse and arrests took place in mid-November and the accused have already appeared at the Germiston Magistrate's Court with the case being postponed to 28 May.
Aljazeera revealed that a similar incident occurred in China with police uncovering a network selling counterfeit vaccines involving 194 countries. Authorities in China raided the manufacturing premises resulting in the arrest of around 80 suspects.
In other Covid-19 news, Briefly.co.za recently reported that scientists have revealed that those infected by the 501Y.V2 Covid-19 variant are not only protected against this strain but also against earlier mutations.
Minister of Higher Education, Science and Innovation Blade Nzimande and Health Minister Zweli Mkhize were joined by experts while giving an update on local research conducted on the 501Y.V2 variant on Wednesday.
Nzimande says the new research shows that the variant, first identified in South Africa, generates an immune response that allows it to neutralise itself and against prior mutations. Briefly.co.za also reported that the third wave of Covid-19 infections may arrive sooner.
Professor Shabir Madhi, prof of vaccinology at Wits University, believes that coronavirus numbers will rise towards May, following Easter.
Prof Madhi was speaking on Monday during a leadership dialogue hosted by Wits Business School. He says that easing regulations before the Easter holiday season could result in the third wave arriving much sooner than expected.
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