The Sekondi-Takoradi Metropolis has witnessed a mad rush for “akpeteshie,” a locally brewed dry gin, leading to a shortage of the product following the confirmation of the coronavirus (COVID-19) cases in the country.
A quick survey through the Metropolis by the Ghana News Agency revealed that many of the popular drinking bars that sold the product in large quantities have run out of stock.
Health experts have explained that sanitizers with an alcohol content that exceeds 65 to 70 percent have strong resistance to the coronavirus and recommended the use of jelly alcohol-based sanitizers and methylated spirits.
A vendor, who introduced herself as “Daavi”, said experts recommended the use of alcohol-based hand sanitizers as a means to deter the spread of the coronavirus after coming into contact with surfaces.
She explained that many families rushed to buy hand sanitizers to protect themselves but could not get it from the pharmacy shops and the few places which had it also increased the price astronomically which gave them no option than to resort to “akpeteshie” which is cheaper.
The buyers, she said, used the “akpeteshie” as hand rub since it had a reasonably strong alcohol base as a substitute to the sanitizer.
“Now, we have run out of stock within some few days because people bought them in large quantities and this was hitherto not the case. Even those who frowned on the product have come to purchase it,” she said.
When contacted, Dr Alfred Tachie-Menson, Metro Director of the Ghana Health Service (GHS), said: “Akpeteshie does not cure the coronavirus as purported since it is mostly made of 45 to 50 percent alcohol far below the required amount.”
He admonished the general public, especially drivers, to desist from using it to sanitize their hands and consuming the product as a means of protecting themselves from contracting the COVID-19.
He said it was better to wash hands with soap under running water frequently as that was a better way of preventing the infection.