CUSTOMERS at a discount store in London were allegedly sprayed with disinfectant at the front door as Britain is gripped by coronavirus panic.
Shoppers were filmed queuing at the entrance of Costco in Croydon, South London, as staff held out what appeared to be disinfectant spray yesterday.
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One customer said he had a cleaning fluid sprayed onto his hands before being given a tissue and asked to drop it in a special bin before entering the store.
Costco has denied customers were sprayed and said the staff members were cleaning trolley handles at the entrance.
Speaking to Mail Online, an eye-witness said: "Nobody seemed to question what was happening and everyone was just lining up obediently.
"The liquid was more fluid than hand sanitiser and it felt more water-based, it had a smell of disinfectant."
He added he was sprayed on his hands and when he asked if it was because of coronavirus the staff member replied 'yes'.
A Costco spokesperson said workers were "simply sanitising trolley handles as a precautionary measure".
It comes as supermarkets are cleared by nervous stockpilers following a spike in the number of cases in recent days.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock last night urged shoppers to carry on as normal.
He said: "The Government has supplies of the key things that are needed, and, within the food supply, we are absolutely confident that there won't be a problem there.
"And, crucially, we are working to makes sure that if people are self isolating, they will be able to get the food and supplies that they need."
He said there was "absolutely no need" for individual people "to go round buying more than they need."
Yesterday, a 75-year-old British woman became the first patient to die in the UK after testing positive for coronavirus.
Health chiefs said the woman had been suffering underlying health conditions and was 'in and out of hospital' before passing away at Royal Berkshire Hospital in Reading.
The Department of Health yesterday announced the number of positive tests across the UK has risen to 116.
The figure has more than doubled in the last two days.
Eight people are believed to have caught the virus within the UK.
London is the worst-hit area with 25 cases, while 17 people in North-West England have been infected.
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