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More than 170,000 people have already signed up overnight to volunteer for the NHS to help tackle the coronavirus, according to Stephen Powis, National Medical Director of NHS England, Simon Murphy reports.
It comes after Matt Hancock yesterday launched a call to arms for an army of a quarter of a million volunteers to come forward to help support the NHS fight back against the coronavirus pandemic.
Yesterday we sent out a call to arms for an army of NHS volunteers, looking for a quarter of a million volunteers, and I can say that overnight we’ve already had 170,000 people sign up – so that’s three a minute signing up to help the NHS. It’s an absolutely astonishing response.”
I think at times of crisis, people come together. And the vast majority of people in this country are doing what the government has asked us all to do. But it’s important that everyone does that as that will save lives.
I know there’s vast numbers of people looking to help neighbours, vulnerable people who live close by, so no it doesn’t surprise me at all. In times like this as the chief medical officer has already said, we see outbreaks of altruism, people wanting to help, so it’s a wonderful response in the same way that all those doctors coming back, nurses coming back, I’m bowled over by it.
French government scientific advisers have recommended a total of six weeks’ lockdown, a suggestion president Emmanuel Macron and his ministers are considering but seem reluctant to announce at this moment, Kim Willsher, the Guardian’s Paris correspondent, reports.
France is carrying out 9,000 tests for the virus every day. Jérôme Salomon, director of the country’s health authority, has said this will be increased by an additional 10,000 by the end of this week.