A DARWEN entrepreneur whose product range includes a device for mechanically cleaning supermarket trolleys and a similar device used for hand washing has called on supermarkets to do more to prevent a second wave of coronavirus.

Mike Wilkinson, managing director of Clean Trolley, believes failure to prepare could have deadly consequences.

His claims are backed up by research from the Academy of Medical Sciences, which warns that a worst-case scenario could see as many as 120,000 deaths.

Mr Wilkinson said: “While lockdown has eased, many people think that the threat is going, but it quite clearly isn’t.

“We are seeing more localised lockdowns and from August 1, those who have been shielding from Covid-19 because they are extremely vulnerable to the virus, will no longer be advised to shield.

He added: “Supermarkets will see a rise in customers, and they need to be prepared and have the best practices in place.”

Mr Wilkinson believes that keeping supermarkets, which remained open even at the height of lockdown, hygienic, could be vital.

As such he says that the Clean Trolley, which he imports from Germany where about 200 are sold every week, could be vital.

The device functions in a similar way to a car wash but also uses a viricide, a chemical agent that destroys viruses.

Mr Wilkinson said: “As essential shops, supermarkets are important as they stay open during localised lockdowns, and trolleys connect the most diverse users with each other, as everyone leaves their germs on them ready for the next person to pick up.

“So, supermarket trolleys must be cleaner to prevent any rise in coronavirus cases, but unfortunately middle managers we have contacted have been uninterested.

“It’s hard to understand why they have proved so dismissive.”