Boris Johnson thanks more than 405,000 NHS volunteers fighting coronavirus

Boris Johnson has thanked the more than 405,000 volunteers who have stepped up so far to help the NHS during the coronavirus crisis.

On Tuesday, Health Secretary Matt Hancock asked for 250,000 volunteers to shore up the service at this time of need.

Speaking from Downing Street, the Prime Minister said the volunteers "will be absolutely crucial in the fight against this virus.

"That is already, in one day, as many volunteers as the population of Coventry.

"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."

In reply to a question about levels of testing in the UK for the virus, the PM denied that the country was behind its European neighbours, and said some 90,000 people had been tested.

The UK's chief medical officer Professor Chris Whitty said there was a "global bottleneck" on buying more testing kits, and said the government's aim would be to buy tests that would allow NHS staff to go back to work if they test negative for coronavirus.

It comes after Prince Charles tested positive for coronavirus earlier today as he and Camilla were treated by the NHS.

This afternoon, it was announced that a senior British diplomat had died from the coronavirus.

Steven Dick, 37, had been the Deputy Head at the British Embassy in Budapest, Hungary, since last year.

He died on Tuesday, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office announced.

There are hopes for new forms of coronavirus testing as the government announced finger-prick tests could be available from Boots and Amazon in days.

The home test kits are set to be rolled out online and in essential shops.

This replaces the current form of testing, which is just using nasal swabs.

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  • Coronavirus
  • Boris Johnson
  • NHS

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