Dr Andrew Kemp, Head of Scientific Advisory Board on the British Institute of Cleaning Science, said alcohol based hand gels have still not been proven to kill Covid-19 on skin. But the Lincoln university academic said overuse of the gels will allow other bugs – commonly found on our hands – to learn how to survive them. If antibiotic resistant superbugs adapt to survive alcohol it could lead to an “armageddon situation”, he warned.
He stressed that hand hygiene was vital to deal with the spread of Covid, and hand washing was a powerful weapon. But he warned that even the most potent sanitisers do not destroy every single bug, potentially giving rise to more problems.
The surviving bacteria would be resistant to alcohol and potentially far more harmful.