Pharmacies urge patience
People are being asked to be patient as Gisborne pharmacies experience a surge in demand on their services as the country prepares to go into lockdown.
Lynn Kennedy, owner of David Moore Pharmacy at Three Rivers Medical Centre said it was important people didn't try to stockpile their medications.
It would impact on others and there was enough in the supply chain to keep prescribing at normal levels, she said.
“We're talking to customers at the door and making deliveries for people over 70 and other vulnerable people,” she said.
Sean Shivnan Pharmacy has extended its opening hours from 8am to 8pm daily.
It has implemented split shifts to minimise contact between staff and is limiting numbers allowed inside the premises to five people.
“We are asking customers to keep a safe distance between them and not touch anything,” said owner Sean Shivnan.
“If they have a prescription we are suggesting they come back later in the day to collect it, unless it is needed urgently.”
Flu vaccines will be administered in the carpark between midday and 2pm, he said.
Bramwells Unichem Pharmacy owner Grant Bramwell said they had been flat out yesterday and were limiting numbers and trying to dispense prescriptions through the door when possible.
“Those needing mini-consultations or to buy things are coming in but they are not handling any merchandise. Our staff are getting what they need and completing the sales.
“We've got a five-person limit and have someone on the door,” he said.
They are also administering flu vaccines in the carpark in the fresh air.
Ballance Street Village's Pharmacy 53 owner Nigel Campbell is reassuring people the pharmacy has plenty of supply and stressed the need for people to behave normally and remain calm.
“We are open seven days and we will be remaining open,” he said.
They were facing unprecedented demand for prescriptions as people were trying to prepare for the lockdown.