Supermarkets in Ecuador have increased their precautionary measures, in order to keep providing basic need products to the population, while the mobility restrictions last; this to stop COVID-19 from spreading.
The regional manager from a Cuenca store chain explains that a disinfection is done to the commercial areal, warehouses, buses, entrances, dinners, bathrooms, boxes, etc. This is done to protect the workers of their 12 stores, 7 of them in Cuenca, 2 in Quito, one in Santo Domingo, and two in Guayaquil.
Also, there is staff that give out hand sanitizer to the clients. However, he says that there is resistance among buyers to put on masks or even to use the sanitizer they are been given by the staff.
The company has made calls via social media, and also personally, for clients not to enter in family groups, but only one person to shop for everybody. “People are understanding little by little, but, I feel that there are people who are not taking it as a real emergency”, the manager said. Furthermore, he offers a service of online shopping for home delivery.
In social media, they posted many ads, one of them recommends that people who have symptoms of respiratory conditions to avoid leaving their home and enter the stores. They ask the citizens, in case they want to go grocery shopping, to do it fast and in order.
Other companies also post their recommendations on social media. One of them is directed to the supermarket workers and their clients that underline a request: “Let´s be solidary and empathic to take care of the everybody’s health”. The company sent a communication that inform of the measures taken to preserve the healthy conditions of their local. For example, sanitizer dispenses at the entrance of their stores, the customer service offices, and purchase points. And the shopping carts, aisles, pens, bands, registers and other areas are disinfected daily.
This store, who is present in almost the whole country, it has indicated that their locals must be occupied for 1 client every 15 square meters, and, to reduce the entrance, the number or carts has been reduced as well, as a reference to the number of clients that can enter the store.
While the ones inside get their groceries, the ones outside make lines, there is staff controlling them to keep a distance of 1.5 meters between one another.
Similar recommendations from other supermarket companies are on social media. They open between 9 to 10 am, and their schedule was reduced due to the national evening curfew from 21:00 to 5:00. In some cases, they close at 19:00 and others at 18:00.
On social media, the communications are distributed to people through email. Many commercial stores of basic need products ask for vulnerable people such as: senior citizens, and those who have diseases among the risk list, not to go to their stores. Children neither.
Supermarkets also inform the citizen that they work continuously for the suppliers to keep providing the basic need products, and they clarify that in case some of them are not on the shelves (alcohol, gel) is due to high demand.
The EcuaAssist Team