Saturday, 10 Jun 2023

Commuters don nappies, storage boxes and plastic bags to beat coronavirus

Commuters have resorted to wearing nappies, storage boxes and plastic bags on their heads as they try to stave off the coronavirus .

Photos going viral on social media show the inventive ways people are trying to beat the global outbreak.

It comes as 87 people were confirmed to have contracted the virus in the UK as the nation braces for a pandemic.

Commuters are attempting to cover their noses and mouths in a bid to avoid contamination.

And it comes as doctors warned surgical masks are not effective at keeping the virus at bay.

Already shoppers have noticed shortages on supermarket shelves, as people stock up on medicines and other essentials int he face of coronavirus.

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One photo shows a man standing on a platform in Milton Keynes with a heavy duty gas mask.

And in another snap, a woman could be seen with a plastic box over her head as she rode a bus.

Other images showed another man elsewhere in the UK with a Tesco bag over his head and gloves.

One London passenger with a baby got creative as they hid under a pram rain cover.

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Another snap caught a commuter wearing gas mask which matched his pinstripe suit.

And another man on the Tube was wearing thick gloves and a larger industrial gas mask.

Meanwhile, in a China a person put a baby’s nappy over their mouth as the nation faces a shortage of masks.

An elderly man was also spotted having fashioned a lady’s bra into a makeshift mask.

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It has comes as experts have raised concerns over the possibility of "low level" community spread of coronavirus.

Three of the latest coronavirus cases are believed to have been contracted within the UK.

While a majority of current cases in Britain are among people who had travelled to hotspots linked to the virus, England's chief medical officer confirmed three of the latest cases became infected in the UK.

"It is not yet clear whether they contracted it directly or indirectly from an individual who had recently returned from abroad," Professor Chris Whitty said.

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"This is being investigated and contact tracing has begun."

Scientists welcomed the news that contact tracing was taking place but raised concerns over "low level" transmission of the virus in Britain.

Dr Stephen Griffin, associate professor at the University of Leeds, and chairman of the Microbiology Society's Virology Division, said: "We are continuing to see new cases predominantly imported or linked to cases imported from high risk regions of the globe.

“It is encouraging that these are being identified, isolated and treated in a timely fashion.”

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Dr Griffin said: “However, it remains a concern that cases of unknown origin are continuing to be identified.

“This suggests that there could be, albeit low level, local transmission within the UK resulting from an unknown source, but it could also be the case that contact tracing will rapidly identify the origin of these infections.

"It is right to be concerned and prepared, but it is not a time to panic. The number of cases remains small compared to the UK population and the current strategy of containment is working by and large.

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"Nevertheless, we can probably expect to see an increase in the number of cases in the forthcoming days and weeks; the question is whether cases of unknown origin may start to become more significant."

Dr Andrew Freedman, reader in infectious diseases at Cardiff University, added: "It is the three of these who contracted the virus in the UK from an unknown source that are of greatest concern.

"This suggests that there are likely to be other as yet, undiagnosed cases which may lead to further spread."

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Dr Robin Thompson, junior research fellow in mathematical epidemiology at the University of Oxford, said: "The vast majority of these cases are known to have recently travelled to affected areas.

"With that in mind, at the current time, the cases that are of greatest concern are the three patients that appear to have contracted the virus in the UK, since we do not yet know the sources of these cases. Contact tracing is under way to find this out."

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Public Health England's medical director Professor Yvonne Doyle said: "The majority of the new cases are linked to travel to affected countries, but we are carrying out contact tracing to understand how people acquired their infection.

"We are calling on everyone to help prevent the spread of coronavirus to help protect yourself and those around you. Our message is clear – simple hand washing with soap for 20 seconds is the key step we can all take to make a real difference in stopping this virus spread."

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