Vanessa Hudgens has apologised after making “heartless” comments about the coronavirus outbreak.

The High School Musical actress had complained about the US response to the pandemic in an Instagram Live video.

Umm, yeah, ’til July sounds like a bunch of bulls**t, she said in response to the potential timeline for being quarantined.

The 31-year-old continued: 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?

Social media users described her comments as horrible and heartless.

Following the backlash, the actress posted a video on her Instagram story, saying her words had been taken out of context.

I don’t take this situation lightly by any means. So stay inside y’all, she added.

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In a separate statement on Twitter, she wrote: Hey guys. I’m so sorry for the way I have offended anyone and everyone who has seen the clip from my Instagram live yesterday.

I realise my words were insensitive and not at all appropriate for the situation our country and the world are in right now.

This has been a huge wake up call about the significance my words have, now more than ever.

I’m sending safe wishes to everyone to stay safe and healthy during this crazy time.

Many parts of the US have taken sweeping measures to curb the spread of the virus.

In California, officials announced a complete lockdown of the Bay Area, urging people to stay at home except for essential needs.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended that no gatherings of 50 people or more should be held for the next eight weeks.

Theatres, fitness clubs and bars have also been told to close.

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There have been more than 6,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the US, according to the Johns Hopkins Center for Systems Science and Engineering.

More than 100 people who tested positive for the virus have died in the States.

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(c) Sky News 2020: Coronavirus: Vanessa Hudgens criticised for ‘heartless’ comments on pandemic