Source: Wired

The world is going through the Coronavirus pandemic, various countries including Pakistan are now on a lockdown in order to curb the further spread of the virus.

During this crisis, demand for cleaning products including bleach, hand sanitisers, cleansing wipes, and tissue papers have surged. Empty aisles have been seen in many countries including the United States of America, the United Kingdom, Australia, Italy, Spain and even in Pakistan.

Why are Counterfeit Goods Entering Markets?

With people stockpiling items that are essential in the fight against COVID-19 shortages have begun in various areas, leaving a gap for counterfeit goods to enter the market. In a situation as critical as this, people sometimes miss out on the minute details and could easily purchase a fake item instead of the original one.

Replica Products in Pakistan During COVID-19

Here in Pakistan just as the Coronavirus scare became a reality, sanitisers were not available in the market, hence counterfeit products began pouring in. Social media users warned others about the duplicate sanitisers spotted in various grocery stores.

Seen below is a sanitiser by the name, ‘Deetol’ available in a store in Karachi.

This product is easy to spot as a replica due to a major difference in name, however the packaging is quite similar to the original, maintaining the same colour scheme green and white.

Another social media user claimed a duplicate Dettol sanitiser was now available in the market, with a slight difference to packaging. However the product had a different smell, and seemed to be of a bubbly texture.

Another illegal product found recently at a local shop in Karachi were these cleansing anti-bacterial wipes. As seen below the wipes are named ‘Dattol’ instead of Dettol. The rest of the packaging is quite similar to the original one.

Source: Facebook

Counterfeit Products Available on Amazon Amidst COVID-19

E-Commerce website, Amazon recently removed listings of over 1 million products on its website related to Coronavirus outbreak. These were either illegal products, or were falsely advertised, misleading customers.

Amazon also deleted a massive number of listings of fake hand sanitisers, protective masks and latex free gloves. According to a study by the consumer advocacy organisation, U.S PIRG Education, prices on Amazon also spiked by at least 50% for hand sanitisers after the virus spread to the U.S.

Fake Hand Sanitisers being sold in the U.K

Source: BBC News

The counterfeit products have also infiltrated the UK markets, 51 bottles of “potentially harmful” hand sanitisers, some of them containing banned substances, were seized by the City Council in Birmingham from a trader last week.

Some of these contained a substance called glutaraldehyde, which is banned for human use since 2014. Each sanitiser was being sold for £5 each. Glutaraldehyde causes irritation to the skin and to the eyes and throat if inhaled or swallowed.

Source: BBC News


Have you come across any illegal product during COVID-19? Let us know in the comments below.