Social media sees virus solidarity bloom in UK | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, March 26, 2020 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:03 AM, March 26, 2020

Social media sees virus solidarity bloom in UK

More than 170,000 volunteer to help NHS

Help groups on social media are connecting people with those most in need during the coronavirus lockdown, fostering a community spirit often neglected in the capital's fast-paced life.

Londoner Stephanie Cheung, 31, is one of those chipping in, leaving a bag of groceries on the doorstep of a stranger in her neighbourhood after getting the call on Facebook.

Many more people have found themselves in similar need over recent days, having been ordered to stay home if elderly, experiencing coronavirus symptoms or suffering from serious underlying health issues.

Along with more than 7,000 other people, Cheung is a member of "Hackney Covid 19 Mutual Aid", in northeast London. Many other similar groups are flourishing around the country on social networks, set up to help to solve problems posed by the pandemic, primarily to the elderly or frail.

Meanwhile, more than 170,000 people have signed up to help Britain's National Health Service tackle the coronavirus outbreak just hours after a request for a quarter of a million volunteers.

Britain had called for 250,000 volunteers to deliver food and medicines, provide transport for patients and supplies, and to telephone those who are becoming lonely because of self isolation. The system aims to reach up to 1.5 million people who are "shielding" - keeping themselves at home for 12 weeks under government advice to protect those with serious health conditions.

The death toll from coronavirus in the United Kingdom jumped on Tuesday by 87 to a total of 422 - the biggest daily increase since the crisis began.

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