Between 75 and 100 children are known to have developed the illness, which can cause symptoms similar to sepsis, since the beginning of April.

In adults, many of the coronavirus patients who become most seriously ill are those with other health problems, such as high blood pressure, diabetes or heart disease – dubbed ‘underlying health conditions’.

But all the children treated for this inflammatory disease so far had been healthy before they caught the coronavirus, according to Dr Liz Whittaker.

Dr Whittaker is a paediatrician at Imperial College Healthcare in London and has herself treated children with the illness, which has been likened to Kawasaki disease.