Some 39 people in the UK have tested positive for coronavirus as Prime Minister Boris Johnson vowed officials are “ready to take necessary steps” to contain the disease. Today he announced his “battle plan”, with four phases on how to stop the spread of the deadly virus.
The 27-page document sets out the UK-wide response to Covid-19 and includes measures such as school closures, “reducing the number of large-scale gatherings” and encouraging greater home working.
Mr Johnson said he had “no doubt at all” that the “country is going to get through the outbreak but stressed it was “highly likely” the number of UK cases will rise.
He said: “Let me be absolutely clear that for the overwhelming majority of people who contract the virus, this will be a mild disease from which they will speedily and fully recover, as we have already seen.
“But I fully understand public concern, your concern, about the global spread of the virus and it is highly likely that we will see a growing number of UK cases, and that’s why keeping the country safe is the Government’s overriding priority, and our plan means we are committed to doing everything possible, based on the advice of our world-leading scientific experts, to prepare for all eventualities.”
Coronavirus: Hand washing is essential to kill bacteria
But with coronavirus spreading globally, heath experts say Britons must take more care over thei hygiene.
And one expert says we urgently need more places to wash our hands to keep ourselves protected.
“We are being shown so many ways to protect ourselves from the Covid-19 virus,” says Protecting.co.uk spokesperson Mark Hall.
“But the truth of it all is that face masks are pretty useless, people just need to make sure they are washing their hands more.”
Coronavirus: Using soap and hot water is essential
How often should we wash our hands?
Mr Hall said: “We all know the basics, wash your hands when you’ve used the toilet, wash them before you eat, but that’s just simply not enough in a virus emergency.
“You need to make sure you are washing your hands after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing.
“Your hands are a breeding ground for germs, washing them regularly will stop you from spreading bacteria to other people and all over surfaces such as door handles and bannisters. “
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Coronavirus: Make sure to wash your hands after sneezing or coughing
How to wash your hands properly
Good hand-washing techniques can halt germs in their tracks.
But many people don’t know how to wash their hands properly.
Speaking from Number 10 earlier this week, the PM gave his top advice on how to do it.
He said: “The most valuable thing we can all do to prevent the spread of the coronavirus is to wash our hands for 20 seconds or more with hot water and soap.
“People are right to be concerned and right to want to take every possible precaution.”
Coronavirus: This is the hand washing advice from the NHS
Hand washing seems like the simplest thing, but few people know how to do it properly.
The NHS has published this easy-to-follow guidance:
- Wet your hands under warm running water.
- Apply a small amount of liquid soap.
- Rub your hands together vigorously. Make sure you apply soap and water to all surfaces of your hands for at least 15 seconds and up to one minute. Make sure you rub your palms, the backs of your hands, between your fingers, your fingertips, thumbs and wrists and your nails.
- Rinse your hands under running water.
- Dry your hands thoroughly using disposable paper towels.
- Turn the tap off using the paper towel or your elbow, to avoid recontaminating your hands.
Mr Hall recommends the optimum length for washing your hands is at least twenty seconds.
He added: “Or just sing happy birthday to yourself twice over in your head, that should do the trick.
“Even if it’s not your birthday.”
The NHS says: “One of the best ways to prevent the spread of infections is to clean your hands.
“Even if they look clean, your hands can still carry many germs. That’s why cleaning hands regularly is so important.”