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Our response to the COVID-19 pandemic
The Shoprite Group is eager to see a rapid vaccine roll-out programme and continues to actively engage with the Department of Health regarding phases 1, 2 and 3, including the final rollout to the general population.
The Group is ideally positioned - with an established, efficient and expanded logistical and pharmaceutical distribution network in place - to assist the South African Government with the distribution and administration of COVID-19 vaccines to save lives and aid the country on its road to economic recovery.
As the country’s largest private employer, the Group wants to see vaccination of its frontline workers (which includes cashiers, merchandisers and line management retail workers) - who have been working tirelessly to ensure food supply to the over 20 million customers the retailer serves every month - prioritised. The Group believes it is critical for its employees to be vaccinated and that the focus should be on reaching herd immunity.
MediRite, the Group’s chain of pharmacies, is working with the Department of Health to facilitate the effective and rapid rollout of phase 1b (vaccination of non-patient facing healthcare workers) of the COVID-19 vaccine roll-out. Phase 1b requires the significant scaling up of facilities across the country, both in number and geographic distribution, to ensure the country’s healthcare workers are vaccinated as quickly as possible.
MediRite’s current community pharmacies are well placed to become COVID-19 vaccination sites: they are easily accessible to customers across all income levels and already set up and equipped with the necessary facilities and employees to administer the vaccines.
Healthcare workers are expected to be allocated to 50 MediRite priority sites across the Western, Eastern and Northern Cape, Free State, Mpumalanga, KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng for phase 1b of the vaccine roll-roll. These sites have been accepted by the Department of Health and are currently being scaled up to ensure maximum functionality, and are located in urban areas as well as underserved, rural areas such as Manguzi, Barberton, Butterworth and Kuruman.
The identified sites are easily reachable: healthcare workers allocated to a MediRite site will on average need to travel no further than a distance of around 10km to receive their vaccine. A geo mapping of the entire country is currently in progress. Once the gaps have been identified, MediRite may make more facilities available in the event that it has suitable sites in the required areas.
MediRite’s frontline health workers are already included in the first phase of the Government's roll-out programme and essential retail workers have been identified to receive COVID-19 vaccines during phase 2, once new roll-out timelines are set.
“We are truly grateful for the hard work, dedication and ongoing efforts that our great team has made as frontline workers in the pandemic and we look forward to them being prioritised as the COVID-19 vaccine programme rolls out.”
– Pieter Engelbrecht, CEO of the Shoprite Group
Following the World Health Organization's guidelines, the South African Government remains the sole central procurer and distributor of COVID-19 vaccines in the country; and vaccine allocations will be according to its identified vaccine roll-out programme.
Since the start of the pandemic, the Group has done whatever is in its power to help combat the spread of the virus and assist those in need. Please see some of the activities highlighted below as we stand united in support of our employees, communities and business - all working together to end this pandemic.
As news of the coronavirus and its spread through South Africa broke, the Shoprite Group quickly developed an action plan that would form the core of its response to this devastating pandemic.
Healthcare workers at the Klerksdorp-Tshepong Tertiary Hospital were honoured by the Shoprite Group this week for their selfless acts of service.
The Checkers Gauteng division surprised medical personnel and healthcare workers at the Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Academic Hospital with a performance by members of the world-renowned Soweto Gospel Choir - observing all Covid-19 protocols.
The Shoprite Group recently showed their appreciation for the healthcare workers fighting the Covid-19 pandemic at the National District Hospital in the Free State.
Healthcare workers and Covid-19 patients at the Rev. Dr Elizabeth Mamisa Chabula-Nxiweni Field Hospital and Uitenhage Provincial Hospital received a donation of more than 600 care packages and two microwaves from the Shoprite Group this week.
With funding for South Africa’s Covid-19 R350 grants running dry for many, and jobs under threat due to the economic fallout from the pandemic, the Shoprite Group is increasing its food security efforts, and working to ensure job security for its massive workforce.
Medical and support personnel as well as COVID-19 patients at the Oudtshoorn Hospital received a donation of care packages from the Shoprite Group last week.
Checkers Queenstown donated some much needed care packages containing essential toiletries, snacks and water to the Covid-19 patients at the Frontier Hospital last week.
MediRite now offers the cheapest Covid-19 rapid antibody tests in South Africa. The tests cost just R129.99 each, and are available from the MediRite pharmacies conveniently located in Shoprite and Checkers stores across the country.
How are you supporting your employees?
What measures are in place to protect customers?
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What are you doing to ensure personal hygiene?
How are you keeping the stores hygienic?
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Are there any restrictions on products?
Will the current situation affect pricing?
What are the popular products customers are buying?
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How does the lockdown affect store trading?
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My travel plans had to change. What can I do?