BRADFORD'S oldest pharmacy is now giving away 400 masks to its most vulnerable patients in the light of the coronavirus pandemic.

Pharmacist Qaisar Sheikh of Rimmington's Pharmacy warned there is a small number of the population who are so isolated they do not understand what coronavirus is and how to protect themselves as people with other medical issues.

Mr Sheikh said one patient, who has no access to TV or radio and barely socialises with others, was not aware of coronavirus.

Rimmington's took action with staff educating their most at risk patients on how to stay safe and offering them face masks.

A majority of these patients have conditions such as COPD or Asthma which could be made worse by an infection like coronavirus.

LIVE: Coronavirus latest breaking news in Bradford, Yorkshire and the UK

The pharmacist has urged people to keep washing their hands for 20 seconds and call 111 for the latest information if they are concerned.

He told the Telegraph & Argus: "Some people don't see people for weeks. This whole campaign started because one patient wasn't even aware of the virus.

"He didn't really have much idea of it. It's more the people that don't have that immediate contact with others and families.

"We are focusing on just those vulnerable patients."


In more general advice to the public, Mr Sheikh added: "Wash hands regularly. Make sure you're washing your hands with soap and water. People are making their own sanitiser.

"It's just all about sanitisation and awareness at the moment. Don't panic. That world of panic - it's a vicious circle.

"Just be aware of what's going on in the news and make sure your family is protected in regards to hand sanitisation.

"For the general public they don't need it (a mask)."