A concerned resident is calling for the Government to introduce stronger measures to stop the spread of coronavirus.

Chigwell resident Wilson Chowdhry is calling for the government to introduce measures obligating schools, libraries, transport hubs, gyms and other areas of large footfall to supply hand sanitizer.

Coronavirus, which presents flu-like symptoms, has seen more than 80,000 cases worldwide, with the majority in the Hubei province in Wuhan, China.

There have been 48 confirmed cases across London with one so far in Redbridge and five in Essex.

Mr Chowdhry, chairman of the East Ilford Betterment Partnership, has set up an online petition calling for the Government to introduce stronger Covid-19 containment measures after being shocked at how easily bacteria could spread at his local gym.

He said: “Government guidance to gyms is woefully pathetic and entails the provision of an antibacterial wash in bathrooms.

“I fear that not everyone who has just coughed into their hands while using gym equipment will walk to the remote locations of the washrooms to cleanse their hands. I believe however, a larger percentage would be likely to clean their hands if a hand sanitizer was on the wall close-by.

“The frequency in which a piece of equipment is used by the next person means that they will no doubt come in contact with viruses within surface-contact-life-span. It’s frightening to think how dangerous this is to local communities.”

Liberal Democrat mayoral candidate Siobhan Benita has also written to the Mayor of London asking him to consider installing hand sanitiser pumps at tube and train stations and on buses/

She said: “The NHS guidance is for regular handwashing but it says that hand sanitiser gel can be used when soap and water are not available. I am sure you will have seen reports of hand sanitiser being rationed or out of stock at some supermarkets and chemists so asking commuters to carry their own may no longer be practical. Even if only a small proportion of commuters make use of the sanitisers, it could have a big impact.

"Clearly, we need to ensure everything appropriate is being done to safeguard Londoners while keeping our transport system moving. I know Londoners will want to play their part in helping contain the virus and protect those most at risk.”

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