The people of Whanganui took to Facebook on Sunday after an individual was spotted at Pak'nSave Wanganui and Countdown Victoria Avenue dressed in what they called a "coronavirus kit".

The individual was seen wearing a white boiler suit and mask as he processed his groceries at the self-service machines at both supermarkets.

A member of Buy, Sell, Swap Wanganui posted a photo of the individual saying "could anyone be more prepared?"

Some of the comments praised him, saying "Good on him, that's commitment", "he might have been overseas to a country affected and is just taking precautions" and "better to be safe than sorry".

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However, others were quick to point out he was not wearing gloves with his suit and could still contract germs.

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Carrie Sutton was at Countdown Victoria Avenue when she saw the person leaving as she and her son were walking through the main entrance.

"At first I thought maybe he was some sort of cleaning worker but then I saw him with his trolley bag and realised that probably wasn't the case."

The shopper seen leaving Countdown. Photo / Supplied
The shopper seen leaving Countdown. Photo / Supplied

She later saw the person walking down Glasgow St still in their suit and mask.

"I had to laugh though, as they had no gloves on."

Should you wear a mask?

For most people in the community, face masks are not recommended.

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However, for people with symptoms of an acute respiratory infection, the World Health Organisation says there may be benefit in wearing a face mask to reduce the spread of infection to other people.

Generally, masks can prevent droplets spreading from an infected patient and others inhaling droplets if they are within one metre of a coughing individual.

If people are unwell or have a job which requires them to be in close contact with people who may have Covid-19, face masks are recommended.

However, the ministry says basic hand hygiene and cough/sneeze etiquette will have a bigger impact.