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04.03.2020 Health

Coronavirus: Avoid kissing — Scientist Warns

Lord Winston, a Labour peer and professor at Imperial College London, said people should desist from the friendly gesture
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Lord Winston, a Labour peer and professor at Imperial College London, said people should desist from the friendly gesture

A leading UK scientist has advised the public to temporarily shun social kissing to avoid spreading coronavirus.

Lord Winston, a Labour peer and professor at Imperial College London, said people should desist from the friendly gesture.

During a Westminster debate yesterday, he revealed two people had tried to plant a kiss on him that day, but warned it was 'something that we should not be doing.

The world-leading fertility expert said: 'It seems to me that simply not shaking hands is only part of the problem.

'Social kissing seems, to me, something that we should not be doing. It's very easy to do that.

'Somebody has tried to kiss me twice today and I don't mean in a way that my wife, who might be listening, is concerned.

'We have to realise we should not be touching our nose, our mouth, our eyes.'

His concerns were echoed by Tory Lord Bethell, who cautioned over the practice and also pointed out the 'real problem' was people touching their nose on average up to 100 times a day.

Lord Bethell said: 'Kissing is wonderful but potentially dangerous.'

He added: 'We have had detailed conversations about kissing, shaking hands, fist-bumping and all manner of social intercourse.

'The guidance from the chief medical officer is clear. It is the touching of your own nose that is the real problem.

'The average person touches their own nose between 70 and 100 times a day. That is why we focus on the message of washing hands.

'Because if your hands are clean, it doesn't matter how many times you touch your nose.

'But if they are dirty, whether through shaking hands or by touching a door handle or whatever it is, the germs are there and they can be conveyed. That is why we focus on that.'

The Conservative peer made his comments as the House of Lords questioned the Government over its battle plan to tackle the spread of Covid-19.

The Government has stressed the importance of the public washing their hands thoroughly on a regular basis in an effort to prevent infection.

The 27-page document was published as it was revealed that the number of people diagnosed with coronavirus in the UK had risen to 51.

---dailymail.co.uk

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