Dr Alain Gauthier, who devised a way to treat up to four people with a single ventilator, told the Ottawa Citizen: “All of this is going to have to be evaluated minute by minute.”

Since the coronavirus first appeared in China last November, more than 287,000 people have fallen ill with COVID-19.

The virus has also killed nearly 12,000 people, the majority of whom died in Italy and China.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) estimates most people who contract the coronavirus will experience mild symptoms.

But the virus can be lethal, particularly among elderly age groups and people with underlying health problems.

The advises people who are 70-years-old and over, are pregnant, have a weakened immune system or have long-term health conditions to maintain caution.

The NHS said: “Because it’s a new illness, we do not know exactly how coronavirus spreads from person to person.


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