AS the potentially deadly coronavirus spreads, and shop shelves are emptied by panic buyers, Bankies are encouraging people to think of vulnerable members of the community.

Latest figures in Scotland showed two deaths and 195 confirmed cases of Covid-19 – a new illness which affects lungs, caused by coronavirus. Forty-nine of the cases were in the Greater Glasgow and Clyde area.

West Dunbartonshire Council says its schools will remain open for now, but Active Schools has cancelled all lunch time and after school clubs. In addition, early years libraries classes – including Bookbug, baby massage, baby yoga and storytime classes – have been cancelled until after the Easter holidays.

Care homes are asking visitors to stay away and some pharmacies have resorted to serving customers through a hatch in the door in a bid to slow the spread of the pandemic.

Nationally, gatherings of more than 500 people have been cancelled and people have been advised to avoid social interaction.

As of yesterday, the Scottish Court and Tribunals Service announced no new criminal jury trials will be commenced or new juries empanelled until further notice. This will be kept under review.

Facebook was full of Bankies urging one another to be kind, as one mother wrote that her daughter needed first stage Aptamil milk and none of her local shops had any.

With the international situation developing hourly, people locally are rallying round to ensure help is available, particularly to the elderly and infirm, who are most at risk from the outbreak.

Bankie Danii McKellar said all her 77-year-old gran Liz wanted was coffee, Irn bru and some Magnum ice creams.

She said: “This woman was born in the war, has seen rations and seen struggle. She won’t stock up on anything because she knows there’s always someone who needs it more and she has me who won’t see her go short of anything.

“Look after your older generation because they’re the ones who need stuff but won’t ask for it in time of panic and crisis.”

Betty Pollock,73, told the Post how she had to rely on her grandchildren driving to other towns for her shopping as her local supermarkets had sold out of many items.

She said: “I went to the shops today, but I couldn’t get what I went for since all the toilet rolls and soap was sold out.

“My husband has dementia and I don’t drive so I can’t leave him too long to go to look in other towns for my shopping.

“Luckily the kids drive, so they’ve seen me all right, but that can’t be the case for others, and it’s going to be a real issue if all the old biddies need to stay home.”

Asda’s Clydebank supermarket is limiting sales of baby milk powder to a maximum of two per customer.

A store manager told the Post: “We are reviewing the items which are flying off the shelf and, where appropriate, will place limits on how many a customer can buy.

“We understand people are panicking but we all need to do our bit to make sure everyone has enough and essentials are available for those who need them.”

Morrisons has a two-item limit on toilet roll and tissues and Tesco has placed restrictions on UHT milk, dry pasta, toilet roll, antibacterial products and tinned vegetables.

Food bank bosses have also spoken of their uncertainty and fear around the virus outbreak but vowed to keep services going as long as they can.

West Dunbartonshire Community Foodshare said they are worried for their mostly elderly volunteers, donation levels and particularly the increased hardship families face if schools are closed.

They had planned for 200 brunch packs for the Easter school break, but don’t know if suppliers will meet that order.

And with pupils home, families will need to meet meal needs and costs normally helped within schools.

Clair Coyle, trustee at the charity, said: “It’s a bit of a nightmare. It’s so unknown.

“At this point, we are trying to stay open as long as possible. We are concerned a lot of our volunteers are older people, so we are taking things day by day and trying to provide as much of a full service as we can.

“We are really concerned about donations and may have to look at other ways for people to drop off food.”

The foodshare scheme brought in new infection control measures two weeks ago and asked those using their services to be patient as things might take a little longer.

They urgently need canned goods, quick cook meals, soups and complete meals to meet expected demand.

Ms Coyle added: “We are extremely worried about schools closing because that greatly increases costs for families each week. The parents we support are going to be so worried.

“Nobody knows what they’re supposed to be doing.

“Many families have already exhausted the three crisis grants they can get in a year.”

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon warned Scotland faces an “unprecedented situation” and a “very challenging” few months. Thousands are also facing the prospect of having to work from home.