The elderly are most at risk of developing complications such as severe acute respiratory syndrome, which can be lethal.
Since November, the virus has killed more 8,700 people, the majority of whom died in China and Italy.
Professor Antczak said: “Let’s remember SARS-CoV-2 is massively infectious and has a pandemic character, but it is not a monstrously virulent virus. It is moderate at most.
“The need for hospitalisation concerns only one-fifth of cases on only five percent of the infected are seriously ill and have respiratory failure.
“This means that as much as 80 percent of infected people do not show symptoms of the disease or suffer from mild or moderate illness, that is, similar to the common cold.”