Ahead the valentine’s day celebration, Professor John Oxford from Queen Mary University has advised people to avoid hugging and kissing in order to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

The Professor explained while on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme that the deadly coronavirus is a ‘social virus’ and that people could protect themselves by employing a bit of ‘British standoffishness’.

He described the illness as a ‘social virus’ that could infect people by close contact and want people to cut contact off.

He said: ‘I think we have to galvanise ourselves in our social actions – how we interact with people I think that is extremely important; more so than wearing a mask. I think that’s a total diversion.

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‘What we need to do is less of the handshaking, hugging, kissing, that sort of thing, because this virus looks like its spread by ordinary tidal breathing, not necessarily colds and coughing.’

The Coronavirus which is officially now known as SARS-CoV-2 spreads via droplets in someone’s breath and it has killed more than 1,100 people with almost 46,000 cases confirmed worldwide.