The Irish Pharmacy Union are calling on patients displaying Coronavirus symptoms not to attend pharmacies.
They have also warned against the stockpiling of medication in response to Covid-19.
The IPU have said that they have a critical role answering questions and addressing misinformation surrounding the virus, but to do that they must be protected from unnecessary exposure.
They’ve called for anyone who has been to an affected place in the last 14 days or who has had contact with someone with coronavirus and who is exhibiting fever, cough or other respiratory symptoms of Covid-19 should not attend at a pharmacy or GP clinic.
Instead, it’s recommended that patients should stay at home and phone their GP or local emergency department without delay.
They’ve also recommended that people have non-prescription medications on hand, and should they require medication on a regular basis - ensure their prescriptions are up to date.
“We do not recommend, however, stockpiling medications in large quantities. This is completely unnecessary and could trigger drug shortages,” a statement from the IPU says.
“If and when there is a disruption in the supply of medications, pharmacists manage their stock carefully to ensure that all their patients can receive a quantity of the medication to meet their immediate needs. Unnecessary stockpiling of medication can create unintended shortages and puts other patients’ health at risk,” the statement adds.
People who are sick at home can call their pharmacist, with many pharmacies offering delivery services to get medications to patients.
The IPU say they are committed to working with the Department of Health and the HSE to ensure that pharmacists across Ireland have the tools and resources to support their patients.