Researchers have stressed the urgent need to tackle the harmful impact of the coronavirus pandemic on people's mental health, and potentially the brain.
"The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic is having a profound effect on all aspects of society, including mental health and physical health," a paper recently published in The Lancet Psychiatry medical journal said.
It added that the psychological and social effects of the coronavirus are "pervasive" and could affect mental health both now and in the future.
The study called for widespread mental health monitoring, which, it said, requires new funding and better coordination.
COVID-19 and mental health symptoms, it claimed, could be observed through smartphones.
Highlighting that the digital response was crucial for people affected by the virus, the study revealed that social isolation could increase anxiety, depression, stress and other negative feelings.
It advised people to see and remain in touch with their family and get sufficient sleep to mitigate mental health difficulties under stressful circumstances.
The virus that first appeared in China late last year has killed over 145,000 people in 185 countries, according to Johns Hopkins University tally.
Worldwide infections stand at more than 2 million, with about 550,000 recoveries.
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