Coronavirus prevention and awareness to be a focus at APP2020 both at a delegate safety level, and for education
A number of preventive measures are being brought into place to aim to ensure the protection of attendees to APP2020 as the Coronavirus (COVID-19) issue continues to spread.
In correspondence with AJP, Kos Sclavos, APP2020 conference convenor, said: “during the coronavirus situation we continue to closely monitor all developments and remain in close contact with national and state government health departments and our health care provider to help guide us in the best response to this issue.
The health, safety and wellbeing of conference delegates is of paramount importance to ourselves and the Gold Coast Convention and Exhibition Centre.
Among the preventive measures Mr Sclavos outlined are:
- GCCEC are Increasing the level of cleaning in high traffic areas
- A large number of hand sanitiser dispensing stations will be distributed throughout APP
- Via a specially produced handout to APP2020 delegates we will be focussing on personal hygiene. “This underpins the vigilant approach we are taking”.
“In my view pharmacists need to lead by example,” Mr Sclavos said.
“There is already a sense of panic in the community based on toilet paper hoarding. It is vital pharmacists are in a position to reassure patients with the facts and especially at this stage when we are in the ‘containment phase’”.
As a measure of this need for education and knowledge, Mr Sclavos said a new session had been added to the APP program, which will outline pharmacy-specific information relating to this emerging subject.
A senior representative from the Commonwealth Office of Health Protection will attend APP to present the session, he said.
“We are pleased to announce that Dr Catherine Kelaher, Principal Medical Adviser at the Commonwealth Office of Health Protection, will attend APP to deliver a tailored presentation on COVID-19 on Saturday 21 March from 12:15 – 1:00pm.
“This issue is placing strain on the health system at all levels and community pharmacy has a vital role to play regarding the continuity of supply of prescription medicines, as well as providing evidence-based health advice to our worried patients,” he said.