Present Scenario of COVID-19 and Pharmacist Role
Coronavirus is a deadly infectious disease also known as COVID-19, 2019-nCoV acute or severe pneumonia with novel pathogens caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2(SARS-CoV-2). The first confirmed case was confirmed on 17 November 2019 in Wuhan, the provincial capital of Hubei, China. By the end of 2019, the pandemic started all over the world till now.
It primarily spreads from an infected person through cough, sneezes, exhales, speaks, or sings. People who are in close contact (within 1 meter) with an infected person can catch COVID-19 when those infectious droplets get into their mouths, nose, or eyes of a healthy person. People may have few symptoms and develop fever, cough, and shortness of breath and these symptoms lead to pneumonia and multi-organ failure. To avoid contact with droplets, it is important to maintain social distance, clean hands frequently with a sanitizer, soaps, and water, cover the mouth with a tissue and use fabric mask, taking precautions while traveling reduce the risk of C0VID-19.
The World Health Organization (WHO) and U.S. Centre for Disease Control (CDC) recommended that a person who suspects that they are carrying the virus to wear a surgical face mask and seek medical advice by calling a doctor rather than directly visiting a clinic in person. Until 25 August 2020total confirmed cases were23812869, the number of deaths was over 817033 and 16363910 people had been recovered.
In the context of the USA till 25 August total confirmed cases were 5915630 and the number of deaths was over 181114 and 3217981 people have been recovered. Apart from the USA, Italy is also one of the heavily affected countries by COVID-19 where the total number of confirmed cases was 2, 60,298 and the total number of deaths was over 35,411, and recovered cases were over 2,05,662. In India the total confirmed cases are 3167323, recovered cases are about 2404585, and 58546 people have died till 25 august 2020.
In the context of our Nepal till 25 August 2020, the Ministry of Health and Population (MoHP) has confirmed a total of 32678 cases, 18806 recoveries, and 157 deaths in the country. The first case in Nepal was confirmed on 23 January 2020 when a 31-year-old student, who had returned to Kathmandu from Wuhan on 9 January, tested positive for the disease. It was also the first recorded case of COVID-19 in Asia. The first case of local transmission was confirmed on 4 April in Kailali District and the first death was confirmed on 14 May. The first COVID-19 death in Nepal was of a 29-year-old postnatal woman from Sindhupalchok on 14 May. A country-wide lockdown came into effect on 24 March 2020 and ended on 21 July 2020. But due to increment in cases, the lockdown has been announced on a cluster basis in the selected area only.
Possible medicines and ongoing treatment for COVID-19
While there is no particular demonstrated treatment for the novel coronavirus yet, patients are being directed various medications that were endorsed for treating different ailments. With pharmaceutical organizations propelling nonexclusive variants of Remdesivir and Favipiravir for Covid-19 treatment, it has been discovered that they help to decrease viral burden however are not fully sustainable. There are numerous routes through which coronavirus is being treated. They are treated with antiviral treatment, antipyretic treatment, dexamethasone treatment by lessening inflammation and treatment utilizing hydroxychloroquine including other plasma treatment
Apart from all of these, there are no specific vaccines and medicines discovered but investigation on developing medicines are maximized day by day. In this runway of developing vaccines, Russia has registered the world first vaccine against COVID-19 named “Sputnik V” even though it has yet to complete the final stage of clinical trials to test its safety and efficacy. Their vaccine is based on a proven platform called adenovirus human vector that has been studied in Russia for the last six years. The vaccine named sputnik V has two separately injected components; the second shot must be made three weeks after the first infection. Together they are said to build sustainable immunity against the virus.
Role of Pharmacist in COVID-19 Pandemic
Health professionals like Doctors, Nurses, and pharmacists are the bleeding edge specialist for the COVID-19 pandemic. Next to other callings, pharmacists assume an imperative job in this pandemic. Without standard treatment, the significance of the arrangement of pharmaceutical consideration by drug specialists dealing with the COVID-19 cases has expanded by ordinarily. Medical clinic drug specialist has a significant job during an episode in contamination control just as patient consideration and backing. What’s more, the pharmacy offers basic open assistance to the entire populace through the grace of medicines and pharmaceutical considerations. Guaranteeing the progression of these administrations is basic.
The chance of exposure of front-line pharmacists to COVID-19 exists; because they are connecting with patients who are possibly infected in this way health workers i.e. pharmacists should accept measures to secure themselves also. The whole pharmacy group should be prepared not only to know what to do when there is a doubt of contamination by COVID-19, yet additionally to promote measures to prevent the disease among people in general.
The general responsibility of pharmacist:
- Prescribe appropriate and quality medications to patients.
- Provide administrations to the persistence like pulse estimation.
- Ensures that the provided drugs are inside the law.
- Give counsel to persistence about medication, how to agree with the man, and their stance impacts in the wake of accepting meds just as responding to persistent inquiries.
Responsibility of pharmacist in the pandemic
- Pharmacists have a crucial job in advising or teaching patients.
- Collaborating with other healthcare professionals in giving patient consideration and backing.
- Advancing disease and infection prevention,
- Guaranteeing that health services experts wear their masks properly and realize how to take them off effectively to maintain a strategic distance from contamination,
- Ensuring sufficient capacity and gracefully fitting supplies of pharmaceutical items and gadgets, for example, medicines, masks, etc.
Notifying the patients before entering the pharmacy
- Before entering the drug, store drug specialists have to illuminate patients to purify their hands since the patient might be the operator for communicating infection starting with one spot then onto the next spot.
- Shaking of hands while in pharmacy with patients and hugging should be constrained thusly, to restrain tarnishing from an infected person.
- Distance should be made between 1-2m between the hanging tight patients for meds and separation ought to be made between drug specialists.
- Mouth and nose should be covered while sneezing and coughing with tissues or hanky on the off chance that it is beyond the realm of imagination to expect to cover mouth and noses he/she should utilize their elbow however not hand in this way, the germs from on body aren’t communicated to other body through air.
- Sanitizing the workplace is exceptionally essential after the finish of the drug store work of every patient coming in the drug store.
Guidelines for the dispenser in a pharmacy
- The very basic way through which the coronavirus moves from individual to individual is by respiratory droplets created when an infected person sneezes or coughs. Facial masks can be used as it may obstruct these droplets for entering, so any wearing of facial cover is important by the distributor.
- There is a high chance that the airborne droplets may carry the coronavirus so for the security of hands and direct contact with the face, sterile gloves and face shield must be utilized individually.
- Since the crown infection is the gathering of infection or a microorganism dispenser must disinfect their hands with liquor based sanitizer when drug store work between pharmacist and patient is completed.
- To be safe from COVID-19 sterilizing or cleaning of counter surfaces and items that are contacted is vital after the work done among drug specialists and patients.
- Beyond what many would consider possible wellbeing experts should be urged to recommend medication through phone or using electronically.
Keep social distancing
- A long rope can be connected starting with one end then onto the next end for the remaining of the patients in a drug store from where drug specialists can give and take the remedy.
- While sitting tight for the medication patients must be recommended to keep separation.
- Rather than giving meds to the patient legitimately, a plate or some other potential articles can be set for gathering remedy and keeping in mind that providing recommended meds to maintain a strategic distance from direct pollution.
Advice to patience while dispensing
- As there is the fluctuation of patients in drug stores long remaining on the drug store should be disallowed by a pharmacist. Patients should know themselves about them if not the pharmacist has to suggest them.
- Patients experiencing treatment with hypertension, diabetes, heart sicknesses, COPD, disease and so on must be instructed for taking a greater amount regarding prescriptions in this way, visit visiting of the drug store is decreased.
- Unnecessary visiting of the drug store should not be done. One should visit a drug store if it is extremely fundamental.
- The patient should not take their companions, neighbors in the store while they are enduring the disease. A single individual is just recommended in this pandemic. In any case, not if there should arise an occurrence of geriatric debilitated and pediatric patients.
Personal advice to a pharmacist
As pharmacists are the bleeding edge beating the COVID-19 pandemic they should by and by be sheltered first. Numerous drug specialists are assuming a significant job in persistent consideration during the COVID-19 pandemic in-network drug stores, emergency clinics, and other social insurance settings including long health care. Here are some of the suggestions for the pharmacist:
- The wearing of adornments like watches, rings, and wristbands while in obligation should be maintained a strategic distance from. There is a high possibility of being infected through adornments.
- Duty movements of pharmacists set up are proposed to partition with formal guidelines and guidelines for example morning, night, and night shifts.
- There is a possibility that the coronavirus infection remains on hair perhaps for a couple of days or hours. Regardless of whether somebody sneezes from our back there are odds of defilement in this way, hairs are prescribed to get secured.
- Pharmacists are suggested to change their white sterile jacket all the more regularly.
- Washing of hands should be done much of the time and taking of hands in the nose and eye should not be touched.
- The pharmacists who have a fever-like symptoms or any allergic reactions must remain at home and away from the working environment until he/she gets their wellbeing to normal.
- Disinfectant of the hands should be done when the utilization of masks, coats, head tops, gloves and so on.
An alternative way of supplying medicines
We can encourage patients to pick up medication at their selected places and areas. To decrease the risk of exposure, patients who have an increased risk for severe illness due to COVID-19 may take medicines using different alternative ways like;
- To guarantee the proper supply of medicines to patients and people in general, and particularly in small communities where different drug stores may have been closed, open drug stores may sort out the home delivery of medicines. The pharmacy that can offer services can do so, particularly for patients who might be in-home isolation and quarantine, or on the other hand who may have a place with a higher hazard gathering or have decreased portability.
- To guarantee the continuity of the flexibility of medicines and services to communities where there is just a single pharmacy in a specific area. Medicines supplying can be done with patients/clients by dispensing medicines through a little window on the entryway or door. This kind of service can be provided by finding the best opening hour of the pharmacy.
Manish KunwarDepartment of PharmacyNovel Academy, Pokhara
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