The ministry of labour, in collaboration with the Commissioner for Volunteerism and non-governmental organisations as the project coordinator, is putting together a support network for home deliveries of medicines or essential goods like foodstuffs to vulnerable groups who have no family support.

The scheme will go operational as of Monday, March 30.

It will apply to confirmed coronavirus patients under quarantine or persons who are potentially infected and in self-isolation, as well as to elderly people who are either unable to go outside and/or have no one to help them.

For the first two categories, the names of these individuals are registered with health authorities. The latter will contact these persons and ask whether they need any essential goods or medicines, and whether they have anyone to help them obtain these items. If they do not, health authorities will contact the support network which will undertake to make home deliveries from supermarkets and/or pharmacies.

For elderly people who are neither sick or self-isolating, but who have no one to help them, they will need to contact their local government authority – municipality or community. Once the local authority verifies that the caller does need support, and where the local authority itself cannot provide the service, it will contact the support network.

The support network will then contact the pharmacy or supermarket closest to the address of the person seeking assistance, alerting them to prepare a package.

A volunteer will be dispatched to pick up the package, who will then drop it off outside the residence of the individual seeking assistance. Once the volunteer makes the drop-off, he or she will call the person to inform them to collect the package.

In all cases, the support network will kick in provided there is no supermarket providing home-delivery service in the vicinity of the person seeking assistance.

Yiannis Yiannaki, Commissioner for Volunteerism and Non-Governmental Organisations, told the Cyprus Mail that these will be next-day, rather than same-day, deliveries.

The supermarkets and pharmacies participating in the scheme will be reimbursed by the government at a later stage, he said.

The persons receiving the items will pay nothing.

 

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