Since the coronavirus appeared in China, the pathogen has spread to virtually every continent, save for Antarctica.

As of 8.27am GMT on March 26, more than 472,000 people have contracted COVID-19.

At least 21,313 people have also died since November.

Professor Prokopenko said: “There’s good reason for imposing tough measures early on.

“The longer we delay the peak, the more time our healthcare system has to prepare for it by accessing more resources such as ICU beds, ventilators, antivirals and trained health workers.”


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