Cork city pharmacist: I've never seen anything like public's reaction to coronavirus

Cork city pharmacist: I've never seen anything like public's reaction to coronavirus
A man wears a face mask in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican during Pope Francis' weekly general audience. 

A Cork pharmacist has said she's never seen anything like the public's reaction to the threat of coronavirus.

Rose Murphy of Murphy's Pharmacy on North Main Street says they have been inundated with people who are fearful of catching the disease buying face masks and hand sanitiser.

"The fear is understandable, especially among elderly people," she said. "They are worried.

"It's important to remember that we have no cases in Ireland yet, and if it does happen, we can curtail it.

"People can be kept in isolation and quarantined, so they are not among the general public."

She says that the social media frenzy surrounding the virus has added to people's fears. 

"That is the main issue," she said. "It's got a major reaction. I have never seen anything like it and I am 34 years a pharmacist.

"People are so worried. I'd never seen a situation where Irish people were buying masks. It's not in our nature, we are very live and let live.

"It's been an unusual reaction but the fear is understandable too."

She says from a professional point of view, the virus will be managed well if it does come to Ireland: "Being an island is an advantage, and the main issue is people travelling by plane. 

"But the main thing is to keep calm."

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