Actor Vanessa Hudgens has apologised following the backlash that met her controversial comments about the coronavirus.

The High School Musical star had posted a live video on Instragram on Monday night in which she seemed to downplay the risks associated with the virus, saying, 'It's inevitable people will die.'

She went on to dismiss widespread media reports of a lockdown until July. "Um, yeah, 'til July sounds like a bunch of bulls***," she said.

"I’m sorry, but like, it’s a virus, I get it, like, I respect it, but at the same time, I’m like, even if everybody gets it, like yeah, people are going to die, which is terrible but like, inevitable?"

The 31-year-old added: "I don’t know. Maybe I shouldn’t be doing this right now? Let’s help each other out rather than freaking the f*** out. Kk?"

The US has seen more than 6,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19, according to the Johns Hopkins Center for Systems Science and Engineering, and over 100 people who tested positive for the virus have died in the States.

After accusations that she was being  insensitive and irresponsible, Hudgens has now issued an apology in which she says, "I realize that my words were insensitive and in not in any way appropriate for the situation our country and the world is in right now . . . I'm sending safe wishes to everyone right now to stay safe and healthy and at this crazy time."

— Vanessa Hudgens (@VanessaHudgens) March 17, 2020

There were numerous furious responses to Hudgens' post, with some calling her "horrible and heartless".

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