What else can retailers do to provide better safety for customers? Prof Tulio de Oliveira advises

What else can retailers do to ensure better safety for customers? Prof Tulio de Oliveira advises

With the second wave officially announced in South Africa and President Cyril Ramaphosa announcing KZN as one of the hotspots, more and more KZNers are concerned about the sanitizing system at their local supermarkets. Virologist and virus hunter Prof Tulio de Oliveira weighs in on how retailers can better ensure safety for all customers. 

Customer paying using speedpoint machine

Shops scan their patrons and sanitize their hands, but once in the store, everyone has to touch the same number pad at the till. This has been a growing concern for many customers who feel that retailers are just ticking the box where COVID-19 protocols are concerned.

According to Professor Tulio de Oliveira, China set a great example when all stores were instructed to discontinue self-services until the battle with the pandemic is won. The country did away with touch screens and speed point machines to further minimize contact at all costs. The professor advises that South Africa should look into this form of safety mechanism, as well as retailers doing something as simple as wrapping number pads at the till with cling wrap and sanitizing every few minutes.

READ: What does the matric Rage super-spreader event mean for KZN? Prof Tulio de Oliveira weighs in

Professor Tulio de Oliveira also cautioned the country about superspreader events and gatherings that many people have line-up this festive season. As reported, Netcare hospitals are overwhelmed with patients and have experienced a shortage of oxygen tanks and masks.

"The second wave is much more aggressive. This should be a wake-up call. We may not be able to go to the beaches but shopping centers will be full. We should still follow safety protocol," he says.

READ: Will closing beaches in KZN really make a difference?

With the KZN infection numbers also increasing at a high rate (with a 195% change in the past seven days)  Prof Tulio de Oliveira also expressed his concern and explained what this means for the province.

More questions answered by Prof Tulio include:

  • How would we be able to track the virus interprovincially after the festive season?
  •  In Sweden, 30% of nurses quit their job as they mentioned that they are not going to kill themselves when society and government do not take the virus seriously. Will something similar happen in South Africa should people continue to ignore regulations?
  • Is it possible to get the virus when fast-food is purchased?

Listen to the podcast below for all of Prof Tulio's expert advice.

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