The number of reported cases of the virus has jumped to 51 today with the Government drawing up an emergency plan in order to help contain the spread of the contagion. In order to mitigate against coronavirus, several retailers across the country have had to limit shoppers to two hand sanitisers per customer.
With the deadly contagion spreading, pictures obtained by Express.co.uk show shops cleared out of any hand cleaning sanitiser.
This website understands Boots, Sainsbury’s, Tesco, Waitrose and SuperDrug are all suffering from shortages.
Members of the public have criticised the lack of supply.
One person from Manchester said: “Market St Boots, sold out of hand sanitiser and limiting the stock to two per person.
Coronavirus UK: Shops left bare as shoppwers ‘panic’
Coronavirus UK: Retailers left bare
“Is Manchester panicking? Or is this needed?”
Another said: “I tried to buy a hand sanitiser from my local supermarket, no luck, all sold out, Coronavirus panic!”
In order to help the public to protect against the spread of coronavirus, UK retailer Boots released a statement assuring the public they do have added stock in their warehouses.
In a statement, the store said: “The best way to help prevent catching a virus is by making sure that you regularly wash your hands with soap, and avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth to prevent transmission from surfaces, especially after blowing your nose, sneezing and coughing.
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Coronavirus UK: The supplies of hand sanitiser have run low
“Antiviral hand foams and gel can also be useful when you are out and about.”
Within the Government’s 27-page battle-plan, schools could be closed in the worst-case scenario.
They also stated, large gatherings could be cancelled to stop the spread of the contagion.
There were also provisions which could bring retired NHS staff “back to duty” if the health service is put under considerable strain.
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If the virus were to hit a peak, there are fears one in five people could call off sick from work.
Andrew Opie, Director of Food & Sustainability at the British Retail Consortium, also added: “Sales of hand sanitiser have risen as individuals and businesses make sensible precautions to reduce the spread of coronavirus.
“Retailers are also taking necessary steps to meet the rise in demand for certain hygiene products.”
As well as sales of hand sanitisers increasing with the spread of coronavirus, sales of paracetamol and ibuprofen, and other pharmaceutical drugs have increased.
Coronavirus EU map
Other standard items such as milk, bottled water and pasta have also seen an increase as some industry experts warn of “food riots” if purchasing continues.
Senior food market analyst, Bruno Monteyne said: “If a major coronavirus outbreak happens, that will quickly lead to panic buying, empty shelves and food riots.”
As well as supply of certain products being low, health officials have warned the UK will see a surge in the number of infections over the next few weeks.
Chief medical officer for Wales, Dr Frank Atherton warned the number of infections will dramatically increase next month.
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As well as increasing over the next few weeks, he added the virus could take months to trail off.
He said: “The best guess is then a period of six to eight weeks of quite significant levels of transmission in the UK, with a tapering perhaps in July and August – so an upsurge in April, possible peak in May/June and a downturn later in the year.
“We have to think about our most vulnerable communities and how to protect them.
“If you think about the most vulnerable populations, they are often in nursing homes or care homes.
“I think we need to intensify the advice to people that if you have a cold or flu-like illness, don’t go and visit your auntie in a care home.”