World news wrapup: 24 September 2020


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Woman accuses CVS manager of racism after shoplifting incident; Ontario pharmacy COVID testing plan slammed; Scottish docs thank pharmacists

Washington DC: A woman has publicly slammed a CVS store manager after he contacted police following an incident in which two men allegedly took products from the pharmacy without paying for them.

Charity Sadé took to Twitter to criticise the manager, posting videos she took at the store.

“I just stopped because I saw approx 6 MPD officers stopping 2 Black men & sat them on the curb. @cvspharmacy at 2226 Wisconsin Ave NW WDC, 20007, called the @DCPoliceDept 2 Black men that allegedly took items from the store,” she wrote.

“One officer told one of the men that their other person’s freedom was dependent on him being quiet. This is violent. People know what happens when the police are called on Black folx! They value property over people.”

After the incident was over, Ms Sadé went to speak to the manager, who explained that it was company policy to involve the police and that, “I actually did not elect to press charges, I just wanted to say hey look, I just want them to know they can’t come in here anymore because they shoplifted and I just need them to sign that’,” reports news.com.au.

“The officers obliged and the guys said the same thing, thank you, and they left,” the manager said.

Ms Sadé told the manager that calling the police to deal with incidents involving black people was a risk to their lives and questioned whether receiving his salary was worth this alleged risk.

She received criticism from other media, though activists said they planned to boycott the pharmacy until the manager’s employment was terminated, and news.com.au reports that she has since deactivated her Twitter account.

 

Toronto, Ontario: A plan to test members of the general public for COVID-19 in pharmacies has drawn criticism from hospital workers, who say it may inadvertently spread the disease.

The Council of Hospital Unions told The Associated Press that the program, which will see asymptomatic people present to pharmacy for testing, will allow people who have COVID-19 into closer contact with pharmacy patients who may already be more vulnerable to a bad outcome should they contract the novel coronavirus.

“Sending the public to a pharmacy and mingling with people who fear that they have COVID-19, and may be symptomatic … seems to me to be unwise and potentially not very safe,” said Michael Hurley, president of the CHU.

Premier Doug Ford, after consulting with pharmacy and pharmacy retailer groups such as Shoppers Drug Mart and Rexall, has now announced that the testing program will commence within the month, reports Narcity.com.

During a September 21 press conference, Mr Ford said he hoped to have up to 60 pharmacies offering such tests by the end of the week.

 

Jakarta, Indonesia: Indonesian pharmacists are speaking out about the profession’s exposure to COVID-19, saying that around 800 have been exposed to the disease.

Chairperson of the Advance Pharmacist Division and the Indonesian Pharmacist Association, Prof Dr Kerry Lestari Dandan, said in an online discussion that the profession is “updating the data,” reports Antara News.

“Some of them have recovered and are undergoing independent isolation, though some have died,” Dr Lestari said, noting that exposure to the coronavirus is part and parcel of maintaining medicines access for patients during the pandemic.

“This is especially relevant in terms of guarding the use of drugs that is rational and proffers benefits for the community,” she said.

The Indonesian Pharmacists Association has, however, been highlighting the ways in which standard operating procedures for ensuring medicines access do not help pharmacists reduce their risk of COVID-19.

 

Scotland, UK: The NHS Scotland National Out of Hours Operations Group has written to the pharmacy sector to thank it for its work during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Dr Sian Tucker, Chair, National Operations Group Scotland, wrote to Professor Harry McQuillan, chief executive of Community Pharmacy Scotland, to thank pharmacists for “all their hard work, care and help over the last seven months”.

“We have always worked very closely with you, our pharmacy colleagues, recognising that often there are limited options for patients in the community late at night and over the weekend so that those of us working need to work together,” Dr Tucker wrote.

“We were very grateful, therefore, that you remained open despite the challenges and concerns that Covid brought.

“We are aware that we could not have managed without you all.

“When lockdown started in March 2020 the out of hours services continued to see patients although we stepped up our telephone and video consultations, where appropriate, to try and manage patients in the safest way possible.

“It is apparent that unlike us in GP OOHs, pharmacy did not have the protection of NHS24 triage or the opportunity to manage patients by virtual means which made your job more challenging and you more vulnerable.

“So please accept our thanks for everything you did and are still doing; I look forward to continuing to work closely together to improve care for our patients.”

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