The State of Qatar has been issuing circulars and other directives aimed to prevent the further spread of Covid-19. These include the temporary closure of commercial areas and other similar places where large group of people usually gather.
Food establishments, supermarkets, and pharmacies are exempted from this lockdown. However, food establishments like restaurant and cafe can only accommodate take and delivery requests. Supermarkets are open and some even offer delivery.
How to Keep Retail Outlets Clean
In Twitter, the Ministry of Commerce and Industry released a guideline on how retail outlets can prevent the further spread of coronavirus. This guideline is also part of the Consumer Protection Law, which suppliers have to comply.
Here are the steps that retail outlets needs to do, according to the tweet:
- Measuring the body temperature of staff members twice a day
- Providing sterilizers at main entrance, gathering places and toilets
- Sterilizing shopping carts before their use by shoppers
- Continuously sterilizing surfaces such as refrigerator doors and handles
— وزارة التجارة والصناعة (@MOCIQatar) March 19, 2020
The ministry calls on retail outlets to sterilize their entrances, toilets, shopping carts, and surfaces in the selling area like refrigerator doors and handles. Staff members should also check their temperature twice during their shift.
It is a must that supermarkets be sterilized because different people go there at any given time. Studies have shown that the coronavirus can stay on surfaces for a few hours, and even days. A sterile environment lessens the chance that the virus will survive and further infect a person.
Major supermarkets turned to social media to announce the steps they have implemented amidst the Covid-19 outbreak. According to Qatar News Agency, Al Meera will still continue their normal store operations in all its branches, and may even extend its hours when needed. Al Meera has also uploaded a video showing how their personnel are providing a safe shopping experience to their shoppers.
Some supermarkets that offer home delivery, like Lulu Hypermarket and Carrefour Qatar are managing large volumes of delivery at the moment. So shoppers are advised to pick a date when the stores slots are not full. Shoppers can also view Carrefour’s video that shows how their employees provide a safe and hygienic shopping experience to their customers.
Health officials have reminded food establishments to follow good hygiene practices (see our previous post here). Retail shops should also do their part in maintaining the cleanliness of their stores to contain the virus. Even shoppers should also be reminded in observing proper hygiene, like using the hand sanitizers that the establishment provided. They can also use the hand gloves, if these are available, and dispose properly after use.