OVER 400,000 people have responded to the governments call for volunteers to help the NHS.

The government pleaded for 250,000 volunteers to help the NHS during the pandemic, however Boris Johnson confirmed at his daily press conference that 405,000 people have come forward to help.

Boris Johnson said this is the same as the population of Coventry.

The volunteers will deliver medicines from pharmacies, drive patients to appointments, bring them from hospital and regularly check up on people living at home alone.

Mr Johnson reiterated that the government and the NHS can get through this but reminded people they needed to stay at home.

He said: “I genuinely don’t think there’s been a time in the last century where the government of this country has put its arms around so many people to get us through a very tough time.

“We will get through it and we will get through it together.”

The prime minister also confirmed the chancellor of the exchequer, Rishi Sunak, will deliver a package for the self-employed at tomorrow’s briefing.

When questioned about the UK’s approach to fighting the outbreak, and whether the government had left it too late to impose stricter measure, Mr Johnson stood by their methods.

He said the UK has the “best scientific advice in the world” and has followed the advice throughout.

The number of tests was also addressed at the briefing, as Mr Johnson was asked how the UK became “so woefully behind” other countries when deploying tests.

In response, chief medical officer, Chris Whitty, said: “The one thing worse than no tests is a bad test.”

More tests will be rolled out “as soon as possible”, but Mr Whitty said there are shortages in the global supply chain.

Elsewhere, Prince Charles tested positive for coronavirus.

A statement released by Clarence House said the Prince of Wales showed “mild symptoms” on Sunday and was tested on Monday.

He is self-isolating in Scotland with the Duchess of Cornwall, who has tested negative for the illness. Prince Charles has not seen the Queen since March 12.

Locally, the RNLI has made the decision to immediately pause the rollout of lifeguard patrols onto beaches.

The RNLI said: “Lifeguards work and train in groups, which makes keeping the requirement to remain two metres apart difficult and the nature of their work with the public puts them – and beach visitors – at risk of close contact.”

Bournemouth & Poole College has opened the car park of its North Road site for free parking for NHS staff while working at the nearby Poole Hospital. Diane Grannell, principal of the college, said it made the “easy decision” to help NHS staff in this “difficult period”.

At the time of going to print, the latest figures confirmed there were 8,077 cases of the virus. The Dorset Council area had 15 while the BCP Council area had 14.