Social distancing and the use of PPE by community pharmacy personnel: Does evidence support these measures?

Syed Shahzad Hasan, Chia Siang Kow, Syed Tabish Razi Zaidi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

Community pharmacists are one of the most accessible healthcare professionals and are often served as the first point of contact when it comes to minor ailments and health advice. As such, community pharmacists can play a vital role in a country's response to various preventative and public health measures amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Given the essential nature of community pharmacy as a health service, community pharmacies are unlikely to shut down in any foreseeable lockdown scenario. It is therefore important to assess the preventative measure directives for community pharmacies that are in place to safeguard community pharmacy personnel from SARS-CoV-2 in the various parts of the world. Upon reviewing the recommendations of 15 selected countries across five continents (Asia, Europe, Oceania, North America, and Africa) on social distancing and the use of personal protective equipment (PPE) in community pharmacies, we found inconsistencies in the recommended social distance to be practiced within the community pharmacies. There were also varying recommendations on the use of PPE by the pharmacy personnel. Despite the differences in the recommendations, maintaining recommended social distance and the wearing of appropriate PPE is of utmost importance for healthcare workers, including community pharmacy personnel dealing with day-to-day patient care activities, though full PPE should be worn when dealing with suspected COVID-19 patients.
Original languageEnglish
JournalResearch in Social and Administrative Pharmacy
Early online date1 May 2020
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 1 May 2020

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