PETALING JAYA: Drawing experience from managing during the pandemic, pharmacies are ready for the latest surge in Covid-19 cases with a sufficient supply of masks, test kits and over-the-counter medications.
Federation of Asian Pharmaceutical Associations vice-president Jack Shen Lim said awareness has led people and pharmacies to be more prepared this time around.
As such, there is a ready stock of masks, gloves and disinfectants, he said when contacted.
“However, we still caution people who have vulnerable folk at home to please mask up, especially if you are using public transport or attending events at places of worship, sports outlets, and concerts.
“Vaccination is still important – there are new bivalent vaccines that can be very helpful in improving immunity against Covid-19.
“Personal hygiene is also very important, so don’t forget what we have learnt in the past four years – wash your hands!” he said.
In addition, Lim noted that Covid-19 is becoming endemic (like influenza) with a rise and fall in terms of numbers, and also seasonal, but added that there is little to worry about.
Malaysian Pharmacists Society president Amrahi Buang agreed that people are more aware of the disease and know what to do even with a rise in cases.
“At the moment it is business as usual, there isn’t much change and stocks are still available because there is only a slight increase in demand.
“It is best to be calm and practise the ways we learnt during the (early days of the) pandemic. Make sure to update your status in the MySejahtera app,” he said.
Asked if Covid-19 should be treated like influenza, Amrahi said yes. He added that self-quarantine and wearing a mask should be practised, especially if people are symptomatic.
Watsons Malaysia managing director and Watsons International regional exclusives director Caryn Loh said the chain consistently offers a wide range of masks, sanitisers, medications, vitamins and other necessities in over 700 stores nationwide and online to ensure its customers receive the right protection.
“We meticulously monitor ongoing supply and demand to ensure all essentials are in stock and available.
“Our health professionals are also available to provide basic health checks and advice to our customers,” she added.
At Health Lane Pharmacy, a representative said there was an adequate supply of Covid-19 essential items.
“People are stocking up because they are more alert to the illness now and are still purchasing test kits,” she said.
There was recently a 28% spike in Covid-19 cases in the country, but the Health Ministry has assured the public that the situation is well under control.