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Table 1 Summary of the risks and recommendations

From: Risks to the community pharmacists and pharmacy personnel during COVID-19 pandemic: perspectives from a low-income country



Recommended mitigation measure(s)

Risk of infection from an infected patient walking into the pharmacy

High risk

i. Use full PPE* [33] for suspected cases as defined by WHO

ii. Notify the Ministry of Health on provided contact details

iii. Disinfect the pharmacy after the Ministry of Health taskforce has taken over

Risk of transmission when providing point of care tests

High risk

i. Sanitise hands with alcohol-based sanitiser before and after performing the test

ii. Staff performing tasks that result in direct contact with patients should put on full PPE* [33]

iii. All patients walking into the pharmacy to put one mask, cloth mask, or even a homemade mask

Risk from contact with patient personal items such as prescriptions, clinic book, and laboratory results slips

High risk

i. Use of drop boxes or mobile platform to order drugs

ii. Use of latex gloves when handling items from patients

iii. Use of alcohol-based sanitiser after dispensing [30, 34]

Risk due to high volume of people walking into the pharmacy

Moderate risk

i. Use of a mobile platform to order drugs from the pharmacy and deliver the drugs [20, 34]

ii. Use of physical barriers on doorways and allowing a few into the pharmacy depending on size

ii. Enforcing social distancing in and out of the pharmacy by placing tape on the floors marking areas patients should stand

iii. Serving patients and customers from the dispensing window

iv. Reduce interaction between pharmacy staff and clients by encouraging payments by mobile platforms

v. All customers being served in the pharmacy to put on masks

Risk of infection when travelling to work

Moderate risk

i. Staff rotation where staff teams take turns to come to work

ii. Provide masks for staff which should be put on when travelling to and from work

Risk of infection when receiving stock

Moderate risk

i. Designate days for receiving stock

ii. Staff members responsible for receiving stock to wear mask and latex gloves

iii. After receipt of new stock, staff to wash hands with soap or alcohol-based sanitiser

Risk due to small size of pharmacy and working surfaces

Moderate risk

i. Serving customers from the window

ii. Staggering the customers that come to pharmacy by allocating time slots to regular customers

iii. Regular cleaning of working surfaces with disinfectant

Risk due to lack of guidance

Low risk

i. Responsible pharmacy professional and regulatory bodies to issue timely guidance documents

ii. Pharmacist to consult international or regional guidance documents such as WHO guidance

Risk of pressure to dispense off-label drugs

Low risk

i. Medicines Regulatory Authorities to issue evidence-based timely guidance on the dispensation of chloroquine and other drugs suggested for use in the management of COVID-19

  1. *Full PPE includes a gown, gloves, face mask, and a face shield or goggles