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Britons urged to improve personal hygiene by minister

Lord Bethell said more hand washing is vital to reducing the spread of coronavirus.

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Regular washing of hands tackles the spread of Covid-19 (Philip Toscano/PA)

Regular washing of hands tackles the spread of Covid-19 (Philip Toscano/PA)

Regular washing of hands tackles the spread of Covid-19 (Philip Toscano/PA)

Britons must improve their personal hygiene to help combat the spread of Covid-19, according to a health minister.

The House of Lords was told the Government believes the “greatest challenge” is to “change the behaviours of the British public”.

Lord Bethell added “work needs to be done” to persuade everyone to wash their hands more often and be cleaner generally.

Speaking in the Lords, Conservative former minister Baroness Neville-Rolfe asked about “deep cleansing” and highlighted how countries such as Singapore and South Korea appear “much better” at cleansing medical facilities and other premises.

She asked: “What does the latest guidance say about cleaning and cleansing and can we do better?”

Lord Bethell replied: “We can undoubtedly do better in these areas of hygiene.”

He said the guidance is “very clear” on what types of detergents work and how they should be best used before praising NHS cleaning staff for their efforts.

The minister went on: “Nonetheless, our view is the greatest challenge is to change the behaviours of the British public and work still needs to be done to persuade all of us to wash our hands more and maintain cleaner personal hygiene.

“Because it is the touching of the face, the shaking of the hands and the transmission of the disease happens most often through manual contact and that can only be challenged by washing hands.”

PA