Published: 17:19, 25 March 2020
| Updated: 17:30, 25 March 2020
The government has today announced more than 400,000 people have come forward to volunteer for the NHS in the fight against Covid-19.
Yesterday, Health Secretary Matt Hancock called for a quarter of a million volunteers to help health services up and down the country.
Boris Johnson said: "We hoped to get 250,000 volunteersbut I can tell you in just 24-hours 405,000 people have responded to the call.
"They will be driving medicines to people, bringing patients home to hospital, and making regular phone calls to check on and support people.
"They will be absolutely crucial in the fight against this virus."
He added: "To all of you, I say thank you on behalf on the entire country."
The Prime Minister was joined for the daily news conference by Prof Chris Whitty, the chief medical officer, and the government's chief scientific advisor Sir Patrick Vallance.
Despite the news that home testing kits could be available soon for people to check if they have coronavirus from home, Prof Whitty said extensive tests would have to be done to make sure they are accurate.
Professor Sharon Peacock from Public Health England (PHE) told the Science and Technology Committee earlier today that 3.5 million tests had been bought and would be available in the near future.
She said the tests would also allow key workers, like doctors and nurses and police to go back to work if they have developed antibodies.
Prof Peacock, director of the National Infection Service, said a small number of tests would be tested in a laboratory before being distributed via Amazon and in places like Boots.
She added: "Once we are assured that they do work, they will be rolled out into the community."
The Department of Health and Social Care have said sadly 422 patients who tested positive for coronavirus have now died in Britain.
More by this authorOliver Kemp