THE owner of a Post Office has defended himself after social media users raged at him for closing his shop due to the coronavirus.
Aadil Bukhari, owner of the Post Office at Central Square, Maghull, posted on Maghull Community Facebook Page yesterday morning (Tuesday March 24) that he had to close until further notice “due to Covid-19”.
His announcement unleashed a torrent of angry comments from residents and social media users, upset that the Post Office is an essential service and lifeline to the elderly.
“Vile! I hope no one uses your Post Office when this is over!” said one and “Well, we know who [to] support in the future when this is all over,” said another.
Another wrote: “How cruel for pensioners who need to get their money out each week to buy necessities. Safety of staff is paramount, I agree, but you can put in place further safety measures.”
While Pete Cullen said: “As a Post Office owner... I’m sorry but I think you absolutely owe it to those who cannot travel further to get their pension etc. to remain open. You’re listed as an essential service by the Government. Empty the shop into the back, wear gloves, a mask, use hand gel, stay behind the screen!”
Aadil posted today (Wednesday March 25) to say he was very sorry for the inconvenience caused because of his decision, but that he was left with no choice.
“I was in and out of the hospital three times in two weeks with a serious asthma attack and had three courses of steroids in two weeks,” he said, “I was strictly advised by the doctor that I shouldn't go out at all at this time as my respiratory system is already very weak.”
He said another staff member also has serious health concerns, and other staff have concerns for sick and elderly parents living with them.
Since the update, social media users have expressed solidarity with him, saying that he had done the right thing, while one has apologised for her comments the day before.
She said: “I fully appreciate your explanation and can now understand your circumstances. I am sure you will appreciate the reason behind such negative comments as people are at this horrendous time looking out for the elderly and vulnerable when the Post Office is their lifeline. Full apologies for any negative comment I made.”
The Post Office is listed as an essential service by the Government and exempt from the forced closures of shops due to the coronavirus pandemic.
A Post Office spokesperson, said: “Maghull Post Office is temporarily closed due to staffing issues caused by the Covid 19 pandemic as there are underlying health concerns. It is not known at this stage when the branch will re-open. In the interim alternative Post Offices include Deyes Lane and Dover Road.
“We apologise for any inconvenience caused by this temporary closure as we know how important a Post Office is to a community and a Post Office is designated as an essential retailer by the UK Government.”
The alternative branches in Maghull are at 2-4 Moss Lane (Deyes Lane PO) and 11 Dover Road.