BUSINESS owners across south Essex are trying to make people’s lives easier as the impact of the coronavirus pandemic grows.

Southend-based manufacturing company Olympus Medical has stepped up to the government’s request to build more ventilators to help those was respiratory diseases.

Constantin Zangemeister, Regional Managing Director for the firm, said: “Olympus understands the demand that Covid-19 places on the NHS and will be continually assessing how we, as a global medical device manufacturer, are best placed to support the well-being of both its workforce and patients.”

James Duddridge Tory MP for Rochford and Southend East, said: “I thank businesses such as Olympus Medical for coming forward and supporting our cause as part of the national effort to meet the expected demand for ventilators.

“Companies who feel they may also be able to help are asked to call the BEIS Business Support helpline on 0300 456 3565 or email”

In Leigh, the Iceland store, in London Road, changed its opening hours from yesterday to open from 10am to 6pm from Monday to Saturday and 10am to 4pm Sunday.

On Wednesdays from 10am to midday will be for the elderly and vulnerable only, to allow them to shop without risking their health, as it has been advised the elderly, in particular those aged more than 70-years-old, should avoid mixing with large groups.

Also in Leigh, a coffee shop has introduced a text service to allow people to order coffee from their cars.

The Corner Club, on The Broadway, is setting up a text service to allow people to order and collect their drinks from the side of the building.

In a statement on their Facebook page the business said: “During this time of self-distancing and isolation, we should be mindful of the communities that we live and work in.

“Local business need your support, we only exist because of our community.

“If you like the idea of driving and collecting your coffee from outside our side door, we will start a text order service and we can bring it to you and make a contactless payment through your window.

“We will be here serving you great coffee until we can’t no more.”

Alex Graves, owner of Rove Pet Services in Basildon, has issued advice to dog walkers.Echo:

Advice - Rove Dog Services owner Alex Graves

Covid-19 is not at present known to affect dogs, nor are dogs known to carry the virus, but the 31-year-old has issued the advice due to raised concerns nationwide.

She said: “I wouldn’t let them [dogs] interact much with other dogs or people. I would suggest on lead time with any unknown dog. Please do feel free to ask people if they are infected, politely, of course.

“Wash your hands after you get home, and it’s definitely not a bad idea to disinfect puppy a little, too. Just be certain your disinfectant is pet friendly.”