By Samantha Day • 25 March 2020 • 18:40
BORIS JOHNSON has said that 405,000 people have signed up to act as NHS volunteers following Health Secretary Matt Hancock’s announcement yesterday about needing 250,000 volunteers.
Speaking at the government’s daily Covid-19 news conference, the prime minister of the UK announced he wanted to offer a “special thank you to everyone who has now volunteered to help the NHS.
“When we launched the appeal last night, we hoped to get 250,000 volunteers over a few days.
“But I can tell you that in just 24 hours, 405,000 people have responded to the call.”
It comes as the UK spends a second day in lockdown due to coronavirus.
The number of deaths from coronavirus in the UK has risen to 437 after further fatalities were confirmed in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
The government has also confirmed that a package of measures to support self-employed workers will be set out by the chancellor on Thursday.
Mr Johnson told MPs in the Commons earlier that the government would do “whatever we can” to support them.
Mr Johnson has also faced questions over the official advice to the construction workers.
The government says that construction workers can still go into work as long as they remain two metres apart at all times.
Reports have come through since the government’s announcement of crowded Tube carriages in London, which resulted in calls for all non-emergency construction work to come to a halt in order to allow workers in that industry to stay home and avoid spreading the virus further.
London mayor Sadiq Khan has said: “too many of the people using the Transport for London services at the busiest times work in construction”, as he reiterated his call for a ban on non-safety construction work.
Mr Johnson told MPs that it should be possible to “run a better Tube system” and implement a fuller service, as the row between the government and London mayor continued.
MPs have also heard that millions of new coronavirus testing kits could be ready to order on Amazon in days, rather than weeks or months.
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