Responsibilities and Role of Pharmacist outbreak Coronavirus

Responsibilities and role of Pharmacist outbreak Coronavirus
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Responsibilities and role of Pharmacist outbreak Coronavirus

What is a coronavirus?

Coronaviruses (CoVs) are a large family of viruses that cause illness ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERSCoV) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-CoV). A novel coronavirus (nCoV) is new strain that has not been previously identified in humans. Coronaviruses are zoonotic, meaning they are transmitted between animals and people.  Detailed investigations found that SARS-CoV was transmitted from civet cats to humans and MERS-CoV from dromedary camels to humans. Several known coronaviruses are circulating in animals that have not yet infected humans.

The 2019-nCoV is a novel strain of coronavirus that was first detected in the city of Wuhan, in the province of Hubei, in the People’s Republic of China – a city with a population of 11 million. The outbreak started as a pneumonia of unknown causal agent at the end of December 2019.

The transmission of 2019-nCoV occurs by the following mechanisms:

  1. Most often, spread from person to person among close contacts (about 6 feet/1.8 metres).
  2. Person-to-person spread is thought to occur mainly via respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes, similar to how influenza and other respiratory pathogens spread.
  3. These droplets can land in the mouths, noses or eyes of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs.
  4. It is currently unclear if a person can get 2019-nCoV by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it (fomites) and then touching their own mouth, nose or possibly their eyes.
  5. Typically, with most respiratory viruses, people are thought to be most contagious when they are most symptomatic (the sickest). With 2019-nCoV, however, there have been reports of spread from an asymptomatic infected patient to a close contact. (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2020) (Rothe, 2020)


For confirmed 2019-nCoV infections, reported illnesses have ranged from people with little to no symptoms to people being severely ill and dying. Symptoms can include (on admission to hospital) (Nanshan Chen, 2020):

  • Fever (>80% of the patients)
  • Cough (>80%)
  • Shortness of breath (31%)
  • Muscle ache (11%)


  1. Frequently clean hands by using alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water;
  2. When coughing and sneezing cover the mouth and nose with a flexed elbow or  tissue – throw the tissue away immediately and wash hands;
  3. Avoid close contact with anyone who has fever and cough;
  4. If you have fever, cough and difficulty breathing seek medical care early and share previous travel history with your healthcare provider;
  5. When visiting live markets in areas currently experiencing cases of novel coronavirus, avoid direct unprotected contact with live animals and surfaces in contact with animals;
  6. The consumption of raw or undercooked animal products should be avoided. Raw meat, milk or animal organs should be handled with care, to avoid cross- contamination with uncooked foods, as per good food safety practices. (World Health Organization, 2020)

Responsibilities and role of community pharmacy

Community pharmacies in outbreak-affected and unaffected countries are often the first point of contact with the health system for those with health-related concerns or simply in need of information and reliable advice.

Community pharmacists have the shared responsibility of:

  • Storing appropriate stocks of pharmaceutical products (medicines, masks, etc) to supply the demand
  • Informing and educating the public
  • Counselling
  • Referring
  • Promoting disease prevention
  • Promoting infection control

Responsibilities and role of hospital pharmacy

Hospital pharmacies in outbreak-affected and unaffected countries play an important role in:

  • Storing appropriate stocks of relevant medicines and other medical products and devices to supply the demand
  • Collaborating with other healthcare professionals in providing patient care and support
  • In-hospital prevention and infection control
  • Informing and counselling
  • Ensuring the responsible use of the pharmaceutical products supplied. For example, ensuring that healthcare professionals consistently wear their masks correctly.

Source:- Coronavirus 2019-nCoV outbreak: Information and Guidelines for Pharmacists and the Pharmacy Workforce FIP 

COVID-19 Update Nepal | 2077/5/12 | 3:00 PM

Total Tested
Total Confirmed
Total Recovered
Total Deaths
647,881 35,529 20,073 183

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