Listed pharmacy retailer Clicks says it is making good progress in terms of re-opening stores and restoring essential services to areas in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng following recent unrest in those areas.
To date, the group has re-opened 78 stores and 23 vaccination sites in KwaZulu-Natal, and 214 stores and 42 vaccination sites in the rest of the country, said Clicks managing executive, Vikash Singh.
“Our operations and support teams have been working tirelessly to clean and re-stock looted and damaged stores. We are re-establishing our supply chain of life-saving medicines and essential goods as we know our customers rely on us for their healthcare needs and medication,” he said, adding that Clicks has bought in supplies and emergency medicines from other regions where necessary.
A total of 47 stores across KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng remain temporarily closed after suffering more extensive damages, however. Online orders will continue to be delivered although delivery delays may be experienced in some areas, the group said.
Existing chronic medication scripts from 35 of the worst affected stores have been redirected to the closest Clicks buddy dispensary.
“Customers should also contact us if they need emergency chronic medication so that we can make alternative arrangements for them to collect this at their closest store or through Clicks Direct Medicines,” said Singh.
Clicks said it remains committed to the national imperative of getting as many people vaccinated in the shortest possible time. The group is working closely with the provincial departments of health to resume vaccination services in affected areas.
To date, Clicks has administered 162,604 vaccinations at 283 vaccination sites nationwide and is on track to open 17 more vaccination sites across the country in the next few weeks as it continues its drive to ultimately reach a target of 602 vaccination sites.
Vaccination registrations on the government’s Electronic Vaccination Data System (EVDS) are now open to anyone over the age of 35.
Only once all scheduled patients have received their vaccination will unscheduled walk-in patients be accommodated, with the most vulnerable – those over the age of 50 – receiving priority, said Singh.
“Walk-ins are managed based on stock availability and capacity,” he said. “I encourage all eligible individuals to register and get vaccinated as this is the only way that we will mitigate the impact of the pandemic.”