Coronavirus panic has people in UK wearing plastic bags, boxes on their heads

Fears over COVID-19 has people breaking one of the first rules people are taught as children - don't put plastic bags over your head.

Pictures shared on social media show UK commuters going to extreme lengths to avoid contracting the virus which has infected thousands worldwide.

One man was pictured on a train wearing a supermarket plastic bag over his face.

Another woman was captured on camera with a large plastic box over her head, secured in place with a scarf. 


Multiple people have been pictured wearing gas masks to protect themselves.

The World Health Organisation says the best way to prevent contracting the virus is good hygiene. Frequent and thorough hand washing is the top tip from health officials as well as practising good cough and sneeze etiquette by covering your mouth with the crook of your elbow.

It's also recommended people avoid touching their faces, especially after travelling on public transport. 

Face masks are not recommended to the general public as they are often ill-fitting and quickly become moist inside, providing an ideal environment for germs to thrive. 

Masks are considered more useful when it comes to preventing droplets from infected people coughing and sneezing from spreading to others in busy locations. 

COVID-19 has now spread to 84 countries and infected more than 93,000 people. The majority of cases are in China.

New Zealand has three confirmed cases of the virus.