Coronavirus latest: Heath Secretary urges public to wash hands for 20 seconds
4 March 2020, 12:22 | Updated: 17 March 2020, 16:47
As the cases of coronavirus in the UK increase, the Heath Secretary has issued a warning.
On Wednesday, March 4, the Health Secretary launched a public awareness campaign to fight against coronavirus, also known as COVID-19.
Following Prime Minister Boris Johnson's plan, which was published on Tuesday, the public are being encouraged to improve their hygiene in order to stop the virus from spreading.
A main point of this is washing your hands, something you should be doing for 20 seconds each time, says the Heath Secretary.
They have advised you wash your hands when you come home from work, after you blow your nose, cough or sneeze, and before you eat or handle food.
The best way to fight the virus is by using hot water and soap or hand sanitiser.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock said in a statement: "The UK is a world leader in preparing for and managing disease outbreaks and I have every confidence in our nation’s ability to respond to the threat of COVID-19.
“We all have a role to play in stopping this disease and that’s what this expanded campaign is all about – making sure the public knows exactly what they should be doing to keep themselves and others safe.
"Washing hands regularly is the single most important thing that an individual can do."
He went on: “Public safety remains our top priority. The government and the NHS are working 24/7 to fight this virus. It’s imperative that everyone follows clinical advice by contacting NHS 111, and not going to A&E if you develop symptoms.”
On Tuesday, Boris Johnson explained his 'battle plan' to fight the virus with a press conference at no.10.
He explained that the army are on standby should we need them, and that there are a number of steps the government could potentially take if the virus was to become worse.
These included; urging Brits to work from home to reduce the risk of catching coronavirus, shutting schools for up to three months, closing off areas of the UK and labelling them 'no-go zones' and telling elderly people to stay away from public events.