20,000 retired NHS staff to return to service to fight coronavirus

Around 20,000 former NHS workers have agreed to return to fight the coronavirus pandemic, the Prime Minister has revealed.

Boris Johnson made the announcement as he praised the significance of society while self-isolating after being diagnosed with Covid-19.

He thanked the doctors, nurses and other former professionals for returning to duty, as well as the 750,000 members of the public who have volunteered to aid the health service.

The PM chose to contradict the ‘there is no such thing as society’ endorsement of pure individualism from his Conservative predecessor Margaret Thatcher in the video message.

‘One thing I think the coronavirus crisis has already proved is that there really is such a thing as society.’

The PM has continued to command the response to the Covid-19 pandemic while sealed behind closed doors in his flat above No 11 Downing Street.

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Johnson added the public appeared to be obeying the terms of the lockdown to slow the spread of the disease, saying train use is down 95% and buses down 75%.

‘Thank you to everybody who’s now coming back into the NHS in such huge numbers,’ he continued.

‘Just this evening I can tell you we have 20,000 NHS staff coming back to the colours.

‘It’s a most amazing thing. And that’s in addition to the 750,000 members of the public who have volunteered to help us get through this crisis.’

On Thursday, NHS national medical director Professor Stephen Powis said the figure of former professionals who had volunteered to come back stood at more than 15,000.

The UK coronavirus death toll has reached 1,228 after another 209 people were confirmed dead.

The Department of Health updated the toll after 190 patients died in England and Wales recorded ten more deaths.

A further six people were confirmed dead in Northern Ireland, while Scotland recorded one more death today.

A total of 19,522 people in the UK have tested positive for coronavirus, while 108,215 have tested negative.

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