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Diabetics to still get vital medicines

Debbie Jones, chairwoman of the Bermuda Diabetes Association

Diabetics will still get vital medicines even with a ban on flights and most ships because of the coronavirus pandemic.Debbie Jones, chairwoman of the Bermuda Diabetes Association, said the charity had also set up tents outside its headquarters in Beacon Street in Hamilton yesterday so people can get prescriptions filled without going into the building.The coronavirus is an added threat to patients with chronic diseases such as diabetes.Ms Jones said the ability to stay outside and keep a safe distance from others as patients waited reduced the risk of transmission of the virus that causes Covid-19.She added that prescriptions were taken by a pharmacist at one window and diabetes supplies given out at another. Ms Jones said: “Once we got the news of two confirmed cases, we decided to protect ourselves, as well as our clients, by moving outside in a triage.”She added: “The response was huge. We had more people here than we have most days. We had two pharmacists on, and there was never a moment they were not completely busy.”Ms Jones said: “There is no doubt, people are very nervous now that it’s here — they’re worried they won’t have their medicine.”The Government has said that, although visits by ships have been banned, normal Merchant Navy services to Bermuda would continue.Ms Jones added: “What they have to remember is ships are coming in and there is no disruption in cargo shipping, which is how we used to bring in all supplies.The World Health Organisation earlier recommended diabetics plan ahead and stock up on medications and supplies in case they became ill with Covid-19.Ms Jones said: “Patients come first. We want to make sure everybody is safe and not going without medicine. If patients can’t get in to us, we will drive it to them.”She recommended that diabetes patients phone in their orders in advance on 297-8427.Ms Jones said the charity would keep the service, which will run on weekdays from 8.30am to 3pm, up and running “as long as possible”.