More than 158,000 volunteer going to help United Kingdom fight Coronavirus pandemic

Volunteers at the North Enfield Foodbank Charity unload donations for the foodbank in Enfield as the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19

Speaking during the government's daily press coronavirus conference, Prime Minister Boris Johnson praised the public for having responded to the call for volunteers made by health secretary Matt Hancock on Tuesday afternoon so enthusiastically.

"If you are well and able to do so safely, I would urge you to sign up today to help the most vulnerable people in our communities as an NHS volunteer responder".

Professor Stephen Powis, NHS national medical director, said: "We are truly amazed by the number of people who want to come and help us in the war against coronavirus".

Meant to relieve pressure on an already strained NHS, the recruitment drive searching for young people over the age of eighteen and of good health exceeded its target this morning, not even 24 hours after it began. And so to all of you, and to all the former NHS staff who are coming back now into the service, I say thank you on behalf of the entire country.

"With the help of the military and with NHS clinicians, we will make sure that we have the capacity that we need so that everyone can get the support they need".

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Anyone who is over the age of 18, fit and healthy and non-symptomatic can offer their time to the scheme. That is already in one day as many volunteers as the population of Coventry.

In a statement accompanying the launch of the scheme, Hancock said: "In these extraordinary times, it's essential that we all pull together as part of the national effort to protect the most vulnerable, reduce pressure on our NHS and care system and save lives".

The government has today announced more than 400,000 people have come forward to volunteer for the NHS in the fight against Covid-19.

"They will be driving medicines to people, bringing patients home to hospital, and making regular phone calls to check on and support people".

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