KingAlarm adds medication delivery service to elderly in COVID-19 response

PRIVATE security company KingAlarm has added another dimension to its COVID-19 response with an offer to its clients over the age of 70, for free pick-up and delivery of prescription medication and other essentials from participating pharmacies.

The service, KingAlarm explained in full-page newspaper advertisements last weekend, is being offered out of concern for the safety and well-being of its customers, and in keeping with the Ministry of Health and Wellness guidelines for senior citizens to stay at home in an effort to stem the spread of the virus.

Late last month, Prime Minister Andrew Holness announced that people 75 years and older must remain at home for 14 days, subject to exemptions that were specified. The restriction, which is scheduled to end tomorrow, will be reviewed by the Government and the health authorities and a decision taken as to whether it will be extended.

Holness had pointed out that established studies done around COVID-19 suggest that the group most affected by the disease is seniors 65 years and older.

“We want to encourage people to stay off the roads as much as possible,” KingAlarm Managing Director John Azar told the Jamaica Observer when contacted over the weekend.

“I also realise that while all of us are fearful, there is an added uncertainty and fear for those above a certain age, based on their heightened risk,” he added.

“The important thing I hope we will see happening more and more — because really there’s a health crisis and an economic tsunami behind it — is people helping each other, and I don’t mean businesspeople only who can afford it, I’m talking about it could be a man who goes out on the road to a corner shop to buy a bun and cheese for an elderly neighbour to prevent her from going out and exposing herself to the risk of being infected,” Azar said.

The medication delivery offer comes a week after Azar announced a reduction of the rates of its guard service to all its customers for the month of April.

Azar had said the rate reduction will see the company applying its flat cost price only, which will go directly to paying its security officers and mobile supervisors, as well as meet petrol and administrative costs.

“While this gesture will be at a significant cost to us, now more than ever we realise this should not be about profiteering in a time of crisis, but for each person who can help to do so in whatever way they can, with the greater good of the nation and all Jamaicans in mind,” Azar had told the Observer.

He also called on other businesses that can afford to reduce their prices for a period of time “to have the social conscience to do so in solidarity with the Jamaican people and other businesses that are all being negatively affected by COVID-19”.

Expanding on that thought on the weekend, Azar said: “It really is a time, first in my lifetime, where you feel we’re either going to sink together or swim together, and that’s what I’m hoping — [that] more and more people will at least try in their own way to see who they can help, how they can help. And God willing. that’s the only way, if health spares, that we’re going to look back on the other side of it and still be a functional society.”

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