Members of the public should avoid coronavirus-related news that makes them feel "anxious or distressed" to protect their mental health, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has advised.

In a document on mental wellbeing and dealing with stress during the Covid-19 outbreak, the agency also offered advice for healthcare workers and people in isolation.

It says those concerned should seek information to help them take practical steps, at specific times once or twice a day, and to consult local health authorities' platforms to distinguish "facts from rumours".

"Avoid watching, reading or listening to news that cause you to feel anxious or distressed; seek information mainly to take practical steps to prepare your plans and protect yourself and loved ones," the guidance says.

WHO also advised the public not to attach those infected with the virus to any ethnicity or nationality.

It said: "Be empathetic to those who got affected, in and from any country, those with the disease have not done anything wrong."

WHO recommended against referring to patients with coronavirus as "victims" or the "diseased".

The agency said: "They are 'people who have Covid-19', 'people who are being treated for Covid-19', 'people who are recovering from Covid-19' and after recovering from Covid-19 their life will go on with their jobs, families and loved ones."

Those in isolation should "stay connected" and maintain social network usage, the organisation advised, while maintaining personal daily routines as much as possible.

The agency also says those in self-quarantine should exercise regularly, keep sleep routines and eat healthy food, adding: "Keep things in perspective."