670,663 join NHS army of volunteers

Media playback is unsupported on your device                  Media captionA construction worker filmed colleagues failing to distance themselves

Media playback is unsupported on your device Media captionA construction worker filmed colleagues failing to distance themselves

Over 5,00,000 people in the United Kingdom have voluntarily come forward to assist the National Health Service (NHS) to fight the coronavirus outbreak that has claimed 465 lives in the country, with 43 more coronavirus patients dying in the last 24 hours, according to media reports.

Speaking at his daily news conference yesterday, he said: "To all of you, and all former NHS staff who are coming back into the service, I say thank you on behalf of the entire country".

Prime Minister Boris Johnson offered a special thank you to the more than 500,000 volunteers that have offered to help the NHS during the coronavirus outbreak.

Almost five people per second enlisted in the government's new volunteering scheme in the hours after the health secretary, Matt Hancock, launched a call on March 24 for 250,000 people in England to help bolster the NHS response to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Hancock tweeted on Thursday: "Fantastic that 560,000 people have now responded to our call to volunteer to support our NHS to defeat #Coronavirus". 'If it helps keep one person safe, it's worth it, ' he added.

Anyone who is over the age of 18, fit and healthy and non-symptomatic can offer their time to the scheme.

Housing, Communities and Local Government Secretary Robert Jenrick called NHS staff "absolute heroes ... working round the clock to support us as a country" and provided more detail on what the volunteers may be doing.

They may also be asked to drive people to appointments or make regular phone calls to those in isolation, the NHS said.

Volunteers are being sought to help 1.5 million people who are now self-isolating for 12 weeks in an attempt to slow down the spread of Covid-19.

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