In early March 2020, tour guide Yuval Ben-Ami was guiding a group of tourists in Finnish Lapland when the news broke that a coronavirus patient was being treated in nearby Rovaniemi, the city better known as the official home of Santa Claus. It was after Italy had begun its lockdown in the northern province of Lombardy, but a few days before quarantine went countrywide in France, Spain and the Nordic states. In those early days of the outbreak, with COVID-19 largely confined to China, the group was not unduly concerned. “Some cracked jokes of what daredevils we were, travelling in these times,” Ben-Ami said. It would be the last tour that Ben-Ami would give before borders across the world slammed shut.

The beginning of UK clinical trials this week to find a coronavirus vaccine coincides with the start of World Immunization Week -- encouraging the use of vaccines to protect people against disease generally.

The event is promoted by the World Health Organization (WHO), which warned earlier this week that vaccinations must be maintained during the COVID-19 pandemic to avoid a resurgence of diseases such as measles and polio.

Some 117 million children are at risk of missing out on measles vaccines, WHO said.

As countries across the world race to find a vaccine for the coronavirus, Germany has announced that researchers in the country are starting clinical trials after regulators gave the green light.