A top Australian professor has warned that everyone will contract coronavirus and that it is unlikely it will be contained.

University of Queensland professor Ian Mackay told The Australian, “It doesn’t look like this virus is ever going to go back in its box, and so we’re likely to have the virus come what we call an endemic virus or a virus that’s just with us for life.

“We already have four of these coronaviruses, mostly causing colds. We get them every year. They peak during winter but they still move around between us during the rest of the year as well. So it’s likely this might become one of those.

“At some point in the coming months or years, we’re all going to get infected because we’ve all been infected by these other endemic viruses.”

The claims come less than 24 hours since Prime Minister Scott Morrison revealed the government was activating its emergency pandemic plan.