HEALTH bosses at a Southampton hospital are urging people not to steal their hand sanitisers, as concerns continue to grow over the coronavirus.

The plea was put out by the maternity services department at the University Hospital Southampton after it was reported hand sanitisers were being ripped off the walls at Northampton General Hospital.

A tweet from UHS Maternity reads: "Visitors are welcome to use hand washing sinks in the bays and rooms to reduce the likelihood of spreading any type of germs and infections to our vulnerable patients.

"Please do not take our stocks of alcohol gel, or use them to fill your empty bottles."

This comes as the number of people diagnosed with coronavirus in the UK, as of 7am on Saturday, rose to 206 from 163, according to the Department of Health.

Health officials confirmed a person from Hampshire had contracted the COVID-19 virus - which has killed more than 3,000 people worldwide.

So far two people in the UK have died from the virus, which originally broke out in China.

More hand sanitiser stations have also been installed on Red Funnel ferries in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak.

The Southampton-based ferry company say they have increased the number of the stations they have installed onboard as well as across their terminals, offices and stores.

Signs and customer announcements are regularly reminding passengers about the importance of practicing good hygiene while they have increased their investment in cleaning services and disinfection in frequent contact areas.

This comes after two pupils from a Winchester primary school were put in quarantine this week.

Oliver’s Battery Primary School reported that the pair had travelled in a taxi that had been previously used by a person who was later confirmed to have the virus.

While headteacher Carly Redfern said there was a “very low risk to the rest of school community” some parents chose not send their children to school the following day.

The Nightingale Site of Abbeywell Surgery in Romsey also closed on Wednesday, February 26 “due to a potential infection”.

A spokesperson for the surgery confirmed to the Daily Echo the closure was due to worries over the coronavirus.