A GP from Bolton says everyone has a part to play in stopping the spread of coronavirus after a third person from the borough contracted the virus.

Dr Jane Wilcock, who lives in Harwood, echoed the World Health Organisation statement of "every person has the capacity" to protect themselves and others whether at home, the community, health settings or on public transport.

She said: "Anyone can feel well but be incubating a virus. Just think of chicken pox, children are infectious for up to three weeks before the rash appears.

"Anyone acting to reduce risks of virus transmission is potentially playing their part. Incubation of Covid-19 ranges between one-14 days with a peak of five or six days.

"Preventing transmission is key, by good hygiene and social distancing.

"China undertook stringent isolation and hygiene measures resulting in infection rates in their highly affected city plummeting."

Dr Wilcock, whose surgery is based in Swinton, said symptoms include fever, dry cough, fatigue, shortness of breath, sore throat and other common symptoms of colds and flu ­— and those with such symptoms are "most likely to have a cold or flu virus".

Dr Wilcock said: "The difference now is that rather than struggle into work or meet friends so we don’t let them down, we should assume the tiny risk of having Covid- 19 and keep away from others if we have a temperature, cough or feel fluey.

Her tips for good hygiene are to cough into a tissue or the elbow.

"I am carrying a dog poo bag in my pocket to stuff used tissue into if there is no bin, rather than contaminate my handbag or pocket," said Dr Wilcock, "Wash your hands after the cough or sneeze."

She reiterated other hygiene tips including not to touch the nose or face and to find new ways of "conveying greeting and warmth".

Dr Wilcock said people should wash hands after using a public surface, including trays on planes and trains and ask visitors to their home to wash their hands.

"In my opinion there is a case for public places to have someone at the doorway dispensing hand sanitiser," she said.

Dr Wilcock concluded that people should be kind.

She said: "Is there anyone vulnerable in your family, friends, street? I don’t know most people who live in my street. Is now a good time to set up a network of phone numbers, a list of those in a street who have absolutely no support if they get a temperature and feel that they should stay in at present, rather than go to the supermarket and a list of those who would help out?

"Although people will most likely just have a viral cold, they should not be out and about with a temperature whilst this new Covid-19 infection is rising in the UK and the outcome is uncertain.

"If you have a virus and temperature, don’t go shopping, ask for a delivery, tell them you will collect the delivery at your door and pay by card if possible."