The General Pharmaceutical Council has said it is ‘keeping the situation relating to coronavirus under active review’ and would not rule out suspending inspections if the Covid-19 outbreak continues to worsen.

The Council’s chief executive, Duncan Rudkin, said in a statement: ‘We are in close contact with governments, NHS and other organisations and are preparing appropriately for potential options and scenarios, including in relation to pharmacy inspections.

 ‘Our priority is making sure patients and the public continue to receive safe services from pharmacies and pharmacy professionals.

‘We also have an important responsibility to protect the health, safety and well-being of our staff and everyone affected by our work.

 ‘We will provide further updates about any action we decide to take in response to the developing situation if and when needed.’

Currently, more than 300 people have tested positive for coronavirus in the UK.

Meanwhile, last week The Pharmacist learned that four major wholesalers had depleted supplies of hand sanitiser indefinitely.

Yesterday (9 March), NHS England and NHS Improvement (NHSE&I) issued a letter to community pharmacies in England outlining advice regarding the emerging coronavirus situation.

More to follow.