'If you calculate what that really means, in terms of the total number, it is much more likely that we have got somewhere between 5,000 and 10,000 people infected at the moment'.
And Public Health England confirmed that 460 people had been diagnosed across Britain following the largest increase in a single day.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson warned on Thursday that many more families would see their loved ones die from coronavirus, as the government's chief scientific adviser said Britain likely has as many as 10,000 people infected.
He added: "I must level with you, the British public, more families will lose their loved ones before their time".
Anyone with a fever or a new cough should self-isolate for seven days to slow the spread of coronavirus, the Government has said.
He said school trips overseas should be stopped, while people over 70 with serious medical conditions should not go on cruises.
London is banking on stretching the peak of the outbreak into the summer months, to alleviate pressure on the state-run National Health Service (NHS) and emergency services.
Delaying the impact of the outbreak could also buy time for the testing of drugs and initial development of vaccines and/or improved therapies or tests to help reduce the impact of the disease.
It comes as France became one of the latest European countries to close all schools, universities and nurseries, while in the U.S., all major sport has been suspended and Broadway performances have been stopped for a month.
Top foreign players to leave PSL 2020 amid coronavirus fears
Four more league games were left in the tournament as on Friday and they will be concluded on March 15. The deadly disease has been declared as a pandemic by the World Health Organisation (WHO).
Floyd Mayweather's Ex-GF Josie Harris Dies, Found Dead In Car
They were said to have witnessed a September 2010 domestic violence incident after which Mayweather spent two months in prison. In a 2014 interview , Harris said she preferred it when Mayweather would not collect their children personally from the house.
PM Justin Trudeau's Wife Being Tested for Coronavirus
According to the Prime Minister's Office , a doctor advised Justin Trudeau to self-monitor since he is not showing any symptoms. New Brunswick Premier Blaine Higgs also questioned whether it was "prudent" for the country's leaders to gather in one spot.
Two more people were confirmed to have died from the virus in the United Kingdom on Thursday, bringing the total to 10, NHS England said.
He reiterated Thursday that scientists advised against school closures, even as neighbouring Ireland shut all its schools, colleges, childcare facilities, and banned mass gatherings.
The Government said it would not move to close schools yet as the evidence for its effectiveness is lacking, though this will be kept under review.
The first minister said she would be advising cancellations to start from Monday.
But Johnson and his advisers stopped short of following suit, saying the risk of transmission from large crowds was lower than in smaller venues.
He told the BBC: 'The Government do need to be clearer with the British public as to why their strategy is correct and the strategy in Ireland or Spain is incorrect.
Johnson said he was not closing schools at the present time but that advice on schools could change as the virus spreads.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has now categorised the deadly coronavirus outbreak as a global pandemic.
Ashton's criticism follows that of the editor of The Lancet medical journal, Richard Horton, who accused the government of "playing roulette with the public".