The National Medicines Regulatory Authority (NMRA) has issued strict conditions for pharmacists’ and staff  to follow as all  pharmacies in the country, apart from those in high risk districts, open from today (11 April) onward.

The pharmacies in these districts can remain open  from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. including during hours when the curfew is in operation.

Below  are the conditions that must be adhered  to when keeping the pharmacies open :-

· Maintain the minimum distance of one meter between each customer and dispensing pharmacist to ensure social distancing.

· Hand sanitizing facility should be available at the entrance to the pharmacy and customers should disinfect hands thoroughly before entering the pharmacy.

· A notice should be displayed on the main door stating: (a) Opening hours of the pharmacy  (b)  Requirement of a valid prescription or a clinical record with the customer for purchasing prescription medicines.

· Only three customers should be allowed to enter into the pharmacy at any given time.

· Strictly adhere to the restrictions given by Ministry of Health on dispensing Chloroquine, Hydroxychloroquine and Azithromycin.

· Records should be maintained of each dispensation of prescription as well as details of the customer in the prescription book.

· After issuing medicines, a remark or rubber stamp should be placed on the prescription stating “issued” with the time and date of issue. If the prescribed medicine is not available in the pharmacy a remark or rubber stamp should be placed on the prescription stating “not available” with the time and date of issue.

· Pharmacies having CCTV, should keep their system switched on during the opening hours and records should be preserved for a minimum period of 14 days.

· Any suspected case of COVID-19 should be immediately brought to the notice of nearest Ministry of Health office / Police station.

· All the surfaces, including worktops and door handles that may have come in direct with customers should be frequently disinfected.

· Customer should be advised to sanitize/disinfect hands once again when leaving the pharmacy

The NMRA warned that any violation of these conditions would lead to the suspension/ cancellation of the license .