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Keep calm and call your pharmacist, says chemist in response to coronavirus outbreak

Emma Scanlan, Regional Leader of Rowlands pharmacies, invited MP Bill Esterson and Formby councillor Nina Killen to the Chapel Lane store in Formby to learn more about how local health networks were preparing for an increase in cases of Covid-19.

Emma said that while GPs surgeries and hospitals were asking people to stay away, the pharmacy was available to take calls and provide advice to anyone who was concerned about their health or that of family and neighbours.

As cases started to emerge in the Merseyside area, Emma said that she feared older people, who are known to be more at risk from the virus, would not be able to access information online, if they were not able to use a computer or smartphone. She said her healthcare team would be at the end of the phone and happy to take enquiries and give advice.

Mr Esterson said: "Thank you to Emma for inviting us to the pharmacy to talk about what steps local healthcare providers are taking to tackle the new coronavirus.

"Elderly people are particularly at risk and it is imperative that all the public follow the instructions put out by Public Health England as we try to delay the spread of the virus.

"Emma told us that hand sanitizer and antibacterial soap was flying off the shelves, but it is important to remember that using regular soap and hot water is just as effective, if you wash your hands in warm water for 20 seconds."

The symptoms of coronavirus are: a cough; a high temperature; shortness of breath; but it is important to note that these symptoms do not mean you have the illness, as they are similar to regular cold and flu symptoms.

Most people can continue to go to work, school and other public places. You need only self-isolate if advised to do so by calling 111 or after speaking to a medical professional.

In order to protect yourself from coronavirus: wash your hands with soap and warm water often and for at least 20 seconds; use hand sanitizer gel if soap and water is not available; cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when you cough or sneeze; put used tissues in the bin straight away and wash your hands afterwards; try to avoid close contact with people who are unwell.

Do not touch your eyes, nose or mouth if your hands are not clean.

Don't go to a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital if you suspect you may have coronavirus.

Rowlands Pharmacies can answer questions by phone if you are concerned. They have branches in Formby, Birkdale village, Litherland, Upper Aughton Street Birkdale, Union Street Southport and Lincoln Road Southport.

Rowlands also offers a free prescription delivery service for vulnerable patients, such as the elderly and those who have no family members who can collect prescriptions.

Their Formby pharmacy can be reached on 01704 872009.

PIC (left to right): Cllr Nina Killen, Bill Esterson MP, Rowlands staff members Louise Burke and Emma Holden, and Rowlands Regional Leader Emma Scanlan, at the Formby store on Chapel Lane

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