More than 500,000 people have signed up to help the NHS in just over 24 hours in response to the coronavirus outbreak.

The mass sign-up follows Matt Hancock's request for a quarter-of-a-million people to volunteer in an attempt to slow the spread of the virus.

Professor Stephen Powis, NHS national medical director, said: "We are truly amazed by the number of people who want to come and help us in the war against coronavirus.

"I would like to thank every last one of you who are offering your time - you will without a doubt help us to save lives.

"Our NHS needs you, whether it's by volunteering or simply staying at home.

"You are helping your families, communities and protecting our NHS."

NHS chief executive Sir Simon Stevens said: "Times like this show just how generous the British people are and how much they value our health service.

"We are blown away by this response and the kindness of our country.

"I can't thank those enough who have pledged to devote their time to helping others at what is a challenging and uncertain time for you and your families.

"The NHS is always there for you, now is your time to be there for us too."

Anyone who is over the age of 18, fit and healthy and non-symptomatic can volunteer to help tackle the crisis.

To register visit at