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How to reduce your risk of catching the COVID-19 virus while shopping

Posted By Marilynh / April 9, 2020 / 7 Comments

SA seniors – if you are not able to online shop,
then please stay safe by taking these precautions
when shopping, running errands or visiting a pharmacy


senior social distancing


Prevent the spread of the novel Coronavirus and stay safe by taking these precautions when you need to shop, run errands, or visit a pharmacy.

The South African government is currently advising ‘social distancing’ to limit the spread of the COVID-19 virus in our country. But of course, it’s still necessary to shop for food and daily essentials. Follow these precautions to limit your risk, both of coming into contact with the virus and of passing it on.


Understand how the coronovirus spreads

Knowledge is your best defence, so start by learning exactly how the COVID-19 virus spreads and what you can do to protect yourself and others from infection.

As the coronavirus is new in humans, scientists are learning more about how it behaves and affects us every day. Stay up to date by reading trustworthy new sources, but don’t rely on Whatsapp groups, social media or rumours for information. National authorities such as the Department of Health and the National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) will have the most accurate and up to date advice on how to protect yourself and your community.


When it comes to shopping, the most important things to know are:

  • That you cannot catch the COVID-19 virus unless it comes into contact with your eyes, nose or mouth (where it enters the body via your mucous membranes).
  • That you cannot catch the COVID-19 virus if you do not breathe in the respiratory droplets of infected people when they cough and sneeze.


Keep your hands away from your face

While we should avoid touching our faces as a general rule, this becomes really, really important when we’re outside our homes in public spaces. If the COVID-19 virus gets from a trolley, basket or shop surface onto your hands and you then touch your eyes, nose or mouth, it can enter and infect your body. Remember, scientists have found that the new coronavirus can live on certain surfaces for up to three days.

Likewise, when you’re out and about, follow the practice of sneezing and coughing into the inside of your elbow every single time. Or use a tissue and then immediately dispose of it in a bin and wash your hands.


Bring your own virus-busting supplies 

If you have access to them, bring your own hand sanitiser and disinfecting wipes when you go shopping. Use your sanitiser to clean your hands before entering a shop and again when you leave that shop. Use your wipes to clean any surfaces you touch, such as trolleys, shopping baskets and counters.

To be effective against the COVID-19 virus, cleaning products should contain at least 70 percent alcohol.

Latex gloves are not necessary, nor particularly effective. You can still spread the virus from surface to surface while wearing gloves. And it’s difficult to remove and dispose of the gloves without exposing yourself to everything they’ve touched.

Whether or not you have sanitiser, wash your hands with soap and water before you leave your home, as soon as you get home from your shopping trip, before and after you unpack your groceries, and after coughing or sneezing. Washing with regular soap and water for at least 20 seconds is the most effective ways to get rid of the coronavirus.

Don’t forget to clean objects like your phone, bank card, purse and handbag when you get home from shopping.


reduce your risk


Keep your distance

Shopping inevitably means contact with other people, but you can still limit this contact with some sensible precautions.

  • If you can, plan to shop outside of busy shopping hours, when centres will be less crowded.
  • Aim to keep a distance of at least 1.5m from anyone who is coughing or sneezing.
  • If you see people you know, avoid shaking hands or hugging. Instead, use the greeting demonstrated by President Cyril Ramaphosa in his announcement of the national State of Disaster: bump elbows.


High risk? Skip the trip

Certain people have a higher risk of becoming very sick if they get the COVID-19 virus. High risk groups include those with lung disease, diabetes, and heart disease, as well as those over 65 years old. If you fall into one or more of these categories, it might be best for you to avoid going out as far as possible. Instead, ask a friend or family member to shop for you.

If you are displaying possible symptoms of the novel coronavirus, now is not the time to shop! Stay home and contact your healthcare provider.


Health and Pharmacy services to minimize exposure in our stores


Clicks app 

  • Submit your prescription via the Clicks app and receive an SMS when your Pre-packed medication is ready for collection.
  • Simply snap and send a photo of your script, select your Clicks Pharmacy and choose your payment method
  • Download the Clicks app on Google play or via the Apple store.


Repeat prescription service 

  • Sign up for FREE Repeat Prescription Service at Clicks and receive a SMS when your pre-packed medication is ready for collection at a pharmacy of your choice.
  • Too submit a script, Call 0860 737 328 or email your script to repeat@clicksgroup.co.za


Clicks Direct Medicine 

  • Clicks Direct Medicine offers FREE delivery of your Chronic Medicine delivery to your home or nearest Clicks pharmacy.
  • Too submit a script, Call 0861 444 405 or send your chronic prescription to Clicks.directmedicines@dirmed.co.za


Shop online 

  • Shop online at clicks.co.za and get all your frontshop needs delivered to your home.
  • PLUS, order over-the -counter medication online and have this delivered to your nearest clicks store.
  • Simply sign in to your online account to add OTC products to your basket.


What Clicks is doing to prevent the spread of the virus?

In addition to the basic precautionary protocols recommended by the National Institute of Communicable Diseases (NICD), Clicks will be doing the following in stores to protect your health and the health of our staff:

  • Offering free flu vaccinations for all store staff to help build their immunity.
  • Continuously training staff about the coronavirus and the precautionary hygiene principles to adhere to in order to limit its spread.
  • Cleaning our stores more frequently.


If you suspect you might have the COVID-19 virus,
call your healthcare provider

Calling ahead prevents you from spreading
– or being the infected by – the Coronavirus
and allows your healthcare provider
to direct you to the right facility.

Call the Department of Health’s
24-hour coronavirus hotline: 0800 029 999


Clicks logo


Email to a friend/colleague
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  • Annetjie
    March 30, 2020 at 5:44 pm

    Will it be possible for me draw my pension at a later date. Say the 2nd or 3rd Aoril.

    I would like to arrange that my pension be paid into my bank account. How do I do that. I am 80 years old and
    walk with a walker.

  • Lorraine Trublet
    April 6, 2020 at 9:49 am

    Good morning I am also a SASSA pensioner & to reply to your message you must go into your local SASSA office to collect forms which must be taken to your bank to complete. Then once they are filled in, SASSA requires the following documents, which can be left at the information desk in the front : 3 months bank statements, a copy of your I.D. & proof of address. Please also check that all your details correspond with the bank form so that you are not sent on a “wild goose chase”.
    So there is no need to have to sit & wait in the queue all day. I hope this assists you & that you are remaining indoors & safe during our lockdown. Due to the lockdown all SASSA offices are closed for now. You are more than welcome to contact me on l.trublet@gmail.com if you require any further advice.

    • Angela Watkins
      April 7, 2020 at 10:13 am

      Thank you for taking the time to share your knowledge and offering to assist, we all appreciate it. Off course things are on hold for the lockdown but we are sure that SASSA will open up their offices as soon as they are able. We will continue to communicate all correspondence we receive from SASSA to our readers. Regards Angela (YEI staffer)

  • Mm du Toit
    April 26, 2020 at 9:59 pm

    I am on chronic medication for epilepsy and received last prescription, getting medication from discem. Do I make appointment with brain specialist for 6 month repeat

    • Angela Watkins
      May 4, 2020 at 1:12 pm

      Contact your specialist who will be able to answer you and advise on the way forward during the lockdown. Regards

  • M C Smart
    June 10, 2020 at 6:13 pm

    I am puzzled as to why Clicks does not do home deliveries of pre-packed medicine. I would use such a service, even if there was a (reasonable) fee.That would be a much safer option for us seniors, than going in to the Clicks Pharmacy to collect it. Only delivering chronic medication does not assist much, invariably some of the prescribed medicine is not classified as chronic. A lot of people are moving to other pharmacy companies, which will pre-pack all the pharmacy purchases, and deliver it to your door.

    • Marilynh
      June 11, 2020 at 11:50 am

      Dear Mike

      Thank you for your thoughts on this. We will forward your query/comment to Clicks.

      KInd regards,

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