Pharmacies struggle with the coronavirus, too

Chair of the Slovak Chamber of Pharmacists wrote an open letter to the PM.

Illustrative stock photoIllustrative stock photo (Source: TASR)

Pharmacies say they do not have enough protective measures, such as gloves and respirators for their employees.

Responding to the complaints, outgoing PM Peter Pellegrini (Smer) said at one of his press conferences that pharmacies should not sell them to customers, but keep them for their employees, the TASR newswire reported.

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Lack of protection

Chair of the Slovak Chamber of Pharmacists Ondrej Sukeľ wrote an open letter to the PM, refuting the claims that Slovak pharmacists are selling masks.

“I have been pointing out through official and less official ways to the problems in pharmacies due to the coronavirus outbreak for more than two weeks,” Sukeľ wrote, as quoted by SITA.

Pellegrini, in his opinion, “buried” this well-meant attempt with statements that the pharmacies should care of themselves because they sold respirators, masks and disinfection to customers instead of keeping them for themselves.

Related story:Two of three firms to supply Slovakia with masks raise worries Read more 

Doctors ask for masks

Each pharmacy usually has 50 to 100 masks at their disposal, but these are then ordered by an outpatient’s department. They usually cost €0.10-€0.15 per mask, the letter reads.

“The paradox is that despite the fact that outpatient doctors are watching your press conferences where you talk about a million masks, they request them from us,” Sukeľ continued.

Sukeľ also apologised for giving “false hope” to his colleagues by stating that there is no need to worry about the situation with new coronavirus. He had expected Slovakia's institutions and processes to handle the critical situation.

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