The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the world has soared to 200,000 worldwide with 8,000 believed to have been killed.
The latest figures come from the Johns Hopkins University, although the actual number of cases is thought to be much higher.
Coronavirus deaths in Europe now also exceed the toll in Asia, according to an AFP tally. There are believed to have been at least 3,421 deaths from the disease in Europe.
In the UK, as of 9am on March 17 there were 1,950 positive cases and the death toll now stands at 71.
The figures come as experts say the pandemic sweeping across the planet will force city authorities and planners to more seriously consider factors such as population density, technology, food security and inadequate housing.
Events have been cancelled globally and in the UK – including the Glastonbury music festival in June.
Countries have tightened border controls, imposed travel bans, locked down cities and stepped up surveillance using technology powered by artificial intelligence.
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Countries including China, South Korea and Singapore are using robots, drones and big data to track the outbreak, disinfect hospitals and deliver supplies.
Across the UK, steps are being taken to facilitate social distancing – with theatres, cinemas, bars and restaurants closing down.
Sporting tournaments across the world have been cancelled or postponed – including Euro 2020 which has been pushed back to next summer.
Criminal trials are also to be put on hold as part of the ongoing efforts to delay the spread.
In a statement issued late on Tuesday, it was announced that the Lord Chief Justice Lord Burnett – the most senior judge in England and Wales – has decided no new trial should start in any Crown Court unless it is expected to last for three days or fewer.
As a result, cases longer than three days that were due to start before the end of April will be postponed.
The most common symptoms of the coronavirus are:
- a dry, persistent cough
- a fever
If you experience these symptoms, you should immediately self-isolate yourself for seven days.
It is not necessary to call NHS 111 unless your symptoms get more severe.
Some patients have reported fatigue, headaches, shortness of breath and aches and pains. Sneezing is not a symptom of the coronavirus.
The spread of the virus has triggered hoarding across the world and while European countries have restricted travel, British companies say the supply chains which bring fruit, flour and fish from across the world are so far still functioning.
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who has faced criticism for acting too cautiously, said on Tuesday there was no reason to stockpile and that food supplies were safe.
But in supermarkets across the land, shoppers were spooked.
Aisle after aisle was left empty with just ice cream and chocolate Easter eggs remaining at many major stores.