HAMPSHIRE MPs have given advice to residents following the coronavirus outbreak.

Royston Smith MP for Southampton Itchen and Caroline Nokes MP for Romsey and Southampton North have said that the situation is "extremely worrying" but advised that people carrying on as normal is the right approach.

It comes as Boris Johnson urged the British public to avoid office, pubs, travel and social contact.

The Prime Minister set out the need for "drastic action" to tackle the "fast growth" of coronavirus across the UK.

Across the UK, people have been "panic buying" essential items such as tinned food, toilet paper and cleaning products, leaving most supermarket shelves empty.

Yesterday, Southampton University Hospital announced yesterday that a 69-year-old man who tested positive for COVID-19 has died.

The hospital said that the man also had a number of underlying heath conditions.

Caroline Nokes said that the current situation is "extremely worrying" and added that her condolences "go to the family of the first victim of the disease in Southampton".

Daily Echo:

She said that it is "crucially important" that people continue to follow advice regarding social distancing and self-isolation where they are in "at risk groups".

The Romsey and Southampton North MP commended NHS staff, adding that the UK's health professionals are "the best in the world" and that it is "crucial that they be given the equipment, drugs and support they will need".

She added: "I know the panic buying we have seen of some items is causing distress to many and real hardship to the vulnerable.

"It is important that action is taken across the major retailers to address this - in conjunction with Government - and I hope the comments made in the House yesterday will encourage DEFRA to greater efforts in this regard."

Royston Smith said that the pandemic is an "evolving situation" and which can cause "confusion and concern" among residents.

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He said: "As much as possible, people are carrying on as normal and that is the right approach.

"The advice may well change and it is important that we follow the daily briefings from the Chief Medical Officer and the Government.

"The Government's advice is coming from the most qualified experts in the world and they are considering every possibility.

"They will also have elderly relatives or know people more susceptible to the virus and of course they will do all they can to keep us safe."

He added: "The supermarkets and Government have confirmed supply chains are robust and that there is enough food as long as individuals do not buy excessive amounts of certain products.

"It would be helpful for people to think about those around them who might need extra support if the situation changes.

"I know that people have been visiting neighbours and looking out for elderly relatives and I would ask that people focus on this and not on the scare stories coming from some on social media."