Coronavirus, or COVID-19, has affected more than 55 countries in six continents at the time of writing. From calmly continuing with life as normal to quarantine, face masks and a flurry of shopping to stock up on essentials, the response to this global outbreak has been mixed.

Advice from the World Health Organization is clear: wash your hands frequently and thoroughly, keep at least a metre away from anyone coughing, cough or sneeze into a tissue or the crook of your elbow, avoid touching your face, and call ahead for medical advice if you experience symptoms of a fever, cough and difficulty breathing. Face masks are not officially recommended for the public, but some people are opting to wear them.

Here's a look at some of the most striking images of a world dealing with the uncertain threat of a new virus.

Coronavirus: Masked carnival reveller wears protective face mask at Venice Carnival, which the last two days of, as well as Sunday night's festivities, have been cancelled because of an outbreak of coronavirus, in Venice, Italy February 23, 2020.  REUTERS/Manuel Silvestri     TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY - RC2E6F95HAOG
A participant at the Venice Carnival opts for two masks. The event was shut down because of Italy's Coronavirus outbreak, which had infected more than 2,000 people and killed 52 at the time of writing.
Image: REUTERS/Manuel Silvestri
Corona virus: A couple celebrate Valentine's Day as they wear face masks in precaution of the coronavirus outbreak at Orchard Road in Singapore February 14, 2020. REUTERS/Edgar Su
Love in the time of Corona: A couple take a stroll on Valentine's Day in Singapore, which has won international praise for containing the virus. Over 100 people have been infected but there have been no deaths to date.
Image: REUTERS/Edgar Su
Coronavirus: A police officer wears a mask as he walks in front of the Oriental Pearl Tower, as the country is hit by an outbreak of a new coronavirus, in Lujiazui financial district in Pudong, Shanghai, China, February 5, 2020. REUTERS/Aly Song SEARCH
Quiet streets in the Lujiazui financial district in Pudong, Shanghai. The outbreak originated in China and has hit the country hardest, with over 75,000 cases reported.
Image: REUTERS/Aly Song
Tenerife hotel Coronavirus lockdown
A holiday in Tenerife took an unexpected turn for these guests as the H10 Costa Adeje Palace, which was on lockdown after cases of Coronavirus were detected there.
Image: REUTERS/Borja Suarez
Coronavirus: A resident pulls back a rope tying groceries delivered by community workers as the residential compound is under sealed management, following an outbreak of the novel coronavirus, in Yichang, Hubei province, China February 22, 2020. Picture taken February 22, 2020. China Daily via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. CHINA OUT. - RC2F7F972IUI
A woman in Yichang, Hubei province, pulls up groceries delivered by community workers. Wuhan, the largest city in the province, endured a lockdown of over a month to contain the spread of the virus.
Image: REUTERS
Sisters Yao Yicheng, 6, and Yao Yihang, 4, who have not been outside for three weeks play with skipping rope and hula hoops in the living room of their home in Shanghai, China, as the country is hit by an outbreak of a new coronavirus, February 25, 2020. Picture taken February 25, 2020. REUTERS/Aly Song - RC2HBF9EIRBQ
Confinement: Sisters Yao Yicheng, 6, and Yao Yihang, 4, had not been outside their Shanghai home for three weeks when this photo was taken.
Image: REUTERS/Aly Song

What is the World Economic Forum doing about the coronavirus outbreak?

A new strain of Coronavirus, COVID 19, is spreading around the world, causing deaths and major disruption to the global economy.

Responding to this crisis requires global cooperation among governments, international organizations and the business community, which is at the centre of the World Economic Forum’s mission as the International Organization for Public-Private Cooperation.

The Forum has created the COVID Action Platform, a global platform to convene the business community for collective action, protect people’s livelihoods and facilitate business continuity, and mobilize support for the COVID-19 response. The platform is created with the support of the World Health Organization and is open to all businesses and industry groups, as well as other stakeholders, aiming to integrate and inform joint action.

As an organization, the Forum has a track record of supporting efforts to contain epidemics. In 2017, at our Annual Meeting, the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) was launched – bringing together experts from government, business, health, academia and civil society to accelerate the development of vaccines. CEPI is currently supporting the race to develop a vaccine against this strand of the coronavirus.

Soccer Football - Europa League - Round of 32 Second Leg - Inter Milan v Ludogorets - San Siro, Milan, Italy - February 27, 2020    The teams line up before the match in an empty stadium after fans were not allowed in over coronavirus fears  Emilio Andreoli/Pool via Reuters     TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY - RC2O9F92T4X1
Crowd-free: Players line up in an empty stadium as fans were banned from a Europa league match in Milan.
Image: REUTERS
Coronavirus: A professor and students taking part in an online class are seen on a screen during a government-organized visit to the Tsinghua University, as the country is hit by an outbreak of the novel coronavirus, in Beijing, China February 28, 2020. REUTERS/Carlos Garcia Rawlins - RC2I9F9KU593
Virtual education: A professor and students take part in an online class in Beijing. With many schools and universities closed, students are turning to the e-learning to continue their education.
Image: REUTERS/Carlos Garcia Rawlins
Simon Wong, 64, poses for a photo outside his 2 square metre subdivided residential unit, known as a
'Coffin home': Simon Wong, 64, outside his claustrophobic 2-square-metre dwelling in Hong Kong, where high housing prices force many residents into tiny, window-less homes. Schools have shut in the city and many residents are staying indoors.
Image: REUTERS/Tyrone Siu