BORIS JOHNSON struck the right tone yesterday when he warned a “very significant expansion” of the number of cases of coronavirus in the UK was likely, but also urged people to carry on “business as usual” despite the virus continuing to spread.

Clearly, this is an extremely serious disease. The global death toll from the Covid-19 virus has risen above 3,000 and the Government is right to be keeping all options on the table.

At some stage in the future, there might be a need to close schools, call off major sporting events and even lock down towns or cities. We are not there yet though.

So, while everyone has a responsibility to try to limit the spread of the disease through their own behaviour, it is important to avoid an unnecessary and potentially harmful mass panic.

The number of cases reported in the UK, currently standing at 39, remains low and the vast majority of people who contract coronavirus will only suffer mild symptoms. We have to remain vigilant, but life must go on.