The Pharmacy Guild has issued a statement regarding its flagship Australian Pharmacy Professional conference, which is set to go ahead next week
The statement is reproduced below.
We understand there are some concerns among the community regarding large gatherings, in light of Coronavirus (COVID-19). We would like to reassure our guests that APP organisers are doing everything possible to ensure a safe event for our sponsors, exhibitors and delegates.
Both the Pharmacy Guild of Australia and the Gold Coast Convention and Exhibition Centre are in regular contact with both state and federal health departments to ensure we have the most up-to-date information and advice regarding Coronavirus (COVID-19).
Upon advice of both state and federal health departments, we are pleased that APP2020 will be going ahead as planned.
As expert health professionals, we believe that pharmacists have the opportunity to lead by example throughout this health issue, reassure patients and provide true and accurate information to the community, especially during this ‘containment’ phase.
Conference organisers and the Gold Coast Convention & Exhibition Centre will be taking the following precautions throughout APP2020:
- A large number of hand sanitizer dispensers will be available throughout the centre, including the trade area
- Personal hand sanitisers will be available for delegates on-site
- Handwashing stations will be available throughout the venue
- Increased cleaning in high traffic areas, including bathrooms
- Emphasising the importance of personal hygiene via signs and fact sheets
- Fact sheets emphasising use of shared amenities (i.e. alternative greetings to a handshake, how to open doors, how to touch light switches, elevator buttons etc)
- Latest Department of Health information and fact sheets available throughout the conference venue
Furthermore, we have added an additional session to the APP program, focusing specifically on the Coronavirus (COVID-19) health situation and information relevant for community pharmacy.
Dr Catherine Kelaher, Principal Medical Adviser at the Commonwealth Office of Health Protection will attend APP to deliver the tailored presentation, COVID-19: a stakeholder briefing from the Australian Government Department of Health on Saturday 21 March from 12:15- 1:00pm.
Importantly, both conference organisers and the venue are closely monitoring this emerging health situation and we have developed risk management plans for a number of scenarios should anything change throughout the conference.