Scientists claim huge coronavirus breakthrough as world gripped by pandemic

Scientists in Canada claim they've made a huge breakthrough in the fight against coronavirus.

More than 120,000 people worldwide have contracted the disease, with an estimated 5,400 deaths linked to coronavirus.

Now a team from the University of Toronto has said it has isolated and replicated the virus – the first step in finding a vaccine.

They hope their discovery can help medics around the world develop a cure.

In a statement the team said it would lead to better testing, treatments and vaccines.

Dr Arinjay Banerjee said: “The more viruses that are made available in this way, the more we can learn, collaborate and share.”

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And Dr Samira Mubareka, who specialises in infectious diseases, said: "We need key tools to develop solutions to this pandemic.

"While the immediate response is crucial, longer-term solutions come from essential research into this novel virus."

Scientists in China have said they could have a vaccine ready for clinical trials as early as next month.

the UK's approach to developing "herd immunity" against Covid-19 has been called into question by the World Health Organisation (WHO).

Spokeswoman Margaret Harris said not enough is known about the science of the coronavirus, and that while "theories" can be talked about, the current situation requires "action".

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Plans are under way to ban mass gatherings from next week as the Government looks to implement more extreme measures in the fight against Covid-19.

Boris Johnson had faced criticism for not taking such actions, despite similar steps being taken by other European countries as the pandemic worsens.

Emergency legislation bringing in beefed-up powers will be published next week and there could also be a move towards more people working from home, a Whitehall source said.

The UK is dealing with a rising number of cases of the illness, increasing to 798, and a death toll of 11.

The UK's approach to developing "herd immunity" against Covid-19 has been questioned by the World Health Organisation (WHO).

Spokeswoman Margaret Harris said not enough is known about the science of the coronavirus, and that while "theories" can be talked about, the current situation requires "action".

Plans are under way to ban mass gatherings from next week as the Government looks to implement more extreme measures.

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Boris Johnson had faced criticism for not taking such actions, despite similar steps being taken by other European countries as the pandemic worsens.

Emergency legislation bringing in beefed-up powers will be published next week and there could also be a move towards more people working from home, a Whitehall source said.

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