A second person has died from coronavirus in the UK, with the number of cases in the country having risen to 164 after 49 people were confirmed on Friday to have caught the virus.
With the number of confirmed cases rising rapidly, some people have taken to wearing face masks and gloves in an effort to protect themselves against coronavirus.
Face masks have been a contentious topic throughout the outbreak, with panic buying leading to widespread shortages even though there’s been Government guidance stating that wearing face masks is only recommended among ‘symptomatic individuals’ to reduce the risk of transmitting coronavirus to others.
Since we’ve been told that one of the most effective things we can do to ward off the illness is washing our hands and phones regularly, will wearing gloves actually help?
Will gloves ward off coronavirus?
A Public Health England (PHE) spokesperson told The Independent: ‘PHE is not recommending the use of gloves as a protective measure against COVID-19 for the general public.
‘People concerned about the transmission of infectious diseases should prioritise good personal, respiratory and hand hygiene.’
Meanwhile Lindsay Broadbent, a virologist at Queen’s University Belfast, is quoted in The Guardian as saying that gloves are basically ‘a second skin’ that will only protect you if you wash and/or change them as regularly as you clean your bare hands.
She said: ‘If you’re touching unclean surfaces with gloves and then touching your face, you might as well not wear them at all.’
NHS officials have said that ‘the single most important thing’ people can do to protect themselves from coronavirus is to wash their hands regularly and thoroughly.
The National Health Service also recommends that you wash your hands for the same amount of time it takes you to sing the ‘Happy Birthday’ song twice.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock said: ‘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.’
As for face masks, Dr Jake Dunning, Head of Emerging Infections and Zoonoses, Public Health England, told Metro.co.uk: ‘Face masks play a very important role in clinical settings, such as hospitals. However, there is very little evidence of widespread benefit from their use outside of these clinical settings.’
People are also being urged to clean their phones as often as they clean their hands because evidence suggests that Covid-19 can survive on your phone for close to a week.