'Use tissues and wash hands': UK launches coronavirus public advice campaign
Mass and targeted adverts appear nationwide in an effort to prevent infection spreading.
(Precautions against the virus in Chinatown, central London, on Saturday. Photograph: The Guardian)
Using tissues to catch a cough or sneeze, and washing your hands regularly are key to helping slow the spread of coronavirus, a public health campaign advises.
Adverts telling people what they can do to help protect themselves are appearing on social media, in newspapers, and on the radio from Sunday as part of a government-funded effort in the fight against the virus, which has killed more than 250 people in China.
The UK-wide ads warn people to carry tissues and use them when coughing or sneezing, bin the tissue, and wash their hands with soap and water or use sanitizer gel.
The NHS- and government-branded advice will also be targeted at outlets and online forums Chinese nationals in the UK are known to read and listen to.
Matt Hancock, the health secretary, said that while the UK’s “highly trained and experienced clinicians are working round the clock” to prevent the spread of the illness, the general public can play its part.
“Basic hygiene such as washing our hands regularly and using tissues when we cough and sneeze can play an important role in minimizing the spread of viruses like this,” he added. “Today we have launched a UK-wide advertising campaign to help the public protect themselves and each other.”
The first two UK cases of coronavirus were confirmed on Friday. The patients – a student at the University of York and a relative – are being treated at a specialist unit in Newcastle.
(Guardian graphic. Source: AFP)
Hancock said: “While two cases of coronavirus have been confirmed in the UK, our world-class NHS is well prepared to manage these types of incidents. We are doing everything we can to protect the public.”
Last week, the risk level of the illness in the UK was raised from low to moderate and the World Health Organization declared a public health emergency.
The Department of Health said anyone who has traveled to the UK from Hubei province within the last 14 days should stay indoors and avoid contact with others as well as letting NHS line 111 know of their recent travel. People in Northern Ireland should contact their GP.
Anyone who has come from anywhere else in China, not including Macao or Hong Kong, in the same timeframe and who develops symptoms of cough, fever or shortness of breath should self-isolate and call 111. Again, people in Northern Ireland should call their GP.
A spokesman for the department declined to disclose how much had been spent on the campaign but said it may be extended if the need arises.
Source: The Guardian 英國衛報