Commuters wear plastic bags, boxes and gas masks as coronavirus fears grip London

CORONAVIRUS-conscious commuters are wearing plastic bags, boxes and gas masks to protect themselves against the killer virus.

Photos posted on social media show the bizarre way public transport users are facing off against the bug as panic grips London.

Read our coronavirus live blog for all the latest news and updates

One commuter was even pictured in a heavy duty gas mask at Milton Keynes station, while Tube passengers have also followed suit.

A woman was snapped today with a plastic storage container over her head as she rode a busy bus through the capital.

But others have taken a creative approach to protecting themselves against the disease – including shoving Tesco bags for life on their heads.

Other commuters were pictured flicking through the morning newspaper while wearing rubber gloves.

In the rush to protect themselves when the virus first hit, shoppers stripped supermarket and pharmacy shelves of face masks.

But experts have previously said that face masks do little in the way of protection, especially if they're not worn properly.

Health chief Professor Chris Whitty also warned commuters and shoppers wearing face masks will have 'little effect' on stopping the spread of the virus.

The World Health Organisation has advised healthy people should only wear a mask if they are taking care of someone suspected to have the virus.

People who have been diagnosed with coronavirus or who are ill after returning from an affected area are advised not be out in public – with or without a mask.

It comes as coronavirus panic continues to grip the UK – with cases in Britain exploding to 85 in the biggest 24-hour increase in the virus to date.

How to protect yourself from coronavirus

The new coronavirus is continuing to sweep its way across the globe with Britain seeing more cases in people who aren't linked to outbreaks overseas.

Symptoms of Covid-19 can include:

  • a cough
  • a high temperature
  • difficulty breathing

In most cases, you won't know whether you have a coronavirus or a different cold-causing virus.

But if a coronavirus infection spreads to the lower respiratory tract, it can cause pneumonia, especially in older people, people with heart disease or people with weakened immune systems.

It is incredibly contagious and is spread through contact with anything the virus is on as well as infected breath, coughs or sneezes.

The best way to prevent catching any form of coronavirus is to practice good hygiene.

If you have cold-like symptoms, you can help protect others by staying home when you are sick and avoiding contact with others.

Call NHS 111 if you suffer any of these symptoms.

Source: NHS

Three of the new cases involve patients who contracted the disease in the UK as health experts warn a 'significant pandemic' could be just weeks away.

Professor Chris Whitty, chief medical officer for England and Wales, said: "29 patients were diagnosed who had recently travelled from recognised countries or from recognised clusters which were under investigation.

"Three additional patients contracted the virus in the UK and it is not yet clear whether they contracted it directly or indirectly from an individual who had recently returned from abroad.

"This is being investigated and contact tracing has begun."

Earlier today, the professor warned the UK will experience a number of deaths as the outbreak takes hold.

The NHS has declared its highest level of emergency to fight the disease.

Coronavirus has rapidly spread globally after an outbreak in ground zero Wuhan in Hubei Province, China.

There have been 3,214 deaths so far and more than 94,000 cases as the virus accelerates at an alarming rate.


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