Sligo Champion

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'Every second person is asking for hand sanitiser'

Chemists throughout Sligo have begun putting up notices in their windows saying that they are out of hand sanitisers and face masks.

They have become must have items in the fight against the dreaded coronavirus.

People have begun making up their own, so aloe vera, Isopropyl alcohol [rubbing alcohol], tea tree, anti bacterial essential oils. Gloves are also now in big demand.

At Nicholson's Pharmacy, Stephen Street, Christopher Nicholson speaks about the huge run on items.

"We haven't put up our mark-ups on anything. There has been a big thing about that, we haven't we just keep our normal mark up. There's no increase, we're not ripping off people."

Christopher admits that some people have got irate asking why we're not 'on the ball' about this in terms of having sanitiser.

"It's not our fault in terms of not having hand sanitiser, we can't get anything off any of our suppliers. We've been searching with our suppliers every day seeing if there's anything available and anything that is available is got straight away and sold that day."

Christopher says every second person is asking for hand sanitiser and hand soaps, thermometers, even things like hand scrubbers, gloves.

"People have even started getting Panadol now stocking up and our suppliers are also limiting the amount of the amount of Panadol and Paracetemol they're giving to people and ibuprofens. They're not giving out big bulk orders. If you order 100 you might not get them in."

Asked if people are panicked, Mr Nicholson said, 'Definitely, yes'. and said people are now also buying things to boost their immune systems, such as vitamin C and vitamin zinc.

The Irish Pharmacy Union had said last week there was no need to order extra quantities of medicines as doing so would disrupt existing stock levels and 'hamper the supply of medicines for other patients'.

The statement said patients should be reassured that were will be a continuity of supply of medicines and should be encouraged not to seek supplies of medicines over their normal requirement.' As the pandemic unfolds the union will update guidelines.

Pharmacist at Nicholson's, Seán Gilmartin, says people are already starting to panic order their prescriptions.

"We're starting to see people panicking getting two, three month requests for medication. Even suppliers are sending out warnings to pharmacies buying two, three month's worth of stock where that wouldn't be normal. Even our wholesalers are under pressure now."

Mr Gilmartin says as it stands there is no supply issues, but he understands people may be panicked.

"People have moved away from looking for just face masks and sanitisers, when they're not getting them they're stocking up on Paracetemol, getting requests for vitamin c and zinc to boost immune systems."

Sligo Champion