The South African Pharmacy Council (SAPC) says it remains deeply concerned about the looting of COVID-19 vaccines from pharmacies in Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal.

SAPC Chief Executive Officer, Vincent Tlala says they are worried about the loss of pharmaceutical care in affected areas.

“We have received reports from pharmacists and pharmacy associations that, in both provinces, more than 90 pharmacies have been destroyed and looted beyond revival, with KwaZulu-Natal being the hardest hit,” says Tlala.

“Among the looted items are COVID-19 vaccines and scheduled medicines, which when used without proper pharmacist counselling on storage and dosage, may result in harm to one’s health. As such, we urge those who looted these medicines and health products to not use them. We are further disappointed at the possible loss of employment,” adds Tlala.

Meanwhile, the National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) has reported 17 489 new COVID-19 cases, a further 453 people have succumbed to COVID-19 related complications, taking the death toll to 65 595.

Gauteng registered 7 981 new coronavirus cases, followed by the Western Cape with 3 027 cases.

In a statement released on Monday by ICPA media spokesperson, Shanaaz Bayat, says it will be impossible to reach President Cyril Ramaphosa’s target of vaccinating 20 000 people daily because as independent pharmacy vaccination sites have been destroyed and looted.

Gauteng hospitals under immense strain as COVID-19 admissions increase:

Full statement below: