er team is one of dozens worldwide who have been racing to find a way to immunise people against the devastating flu-like virus.

Health experts believe that coronavirus mutates at a slower rate than other respiratory viruses, particularly flu.

This has led to hopes that once a jab is widely available it will provide protection against the highly contagious Covid-19 and any further strains which develop, for several years.

It comes as the number of daily coronavirus deaths in the UK passed the peaks in Spain and Italy for the first time.

Some 8,958 people died in the UK after testing positive for Covid-19 as of 5pm yesterday – a rise of 980 on the day before.