London, March 26 -- Thousands of retired doctors and nurses have returned "to the front line" to deal with the coronavirus challenge, besides nearly 19,000 final-year medical students, as the UK grapples with staff and equipment shortage in the fight against Covid-19.

The UK has reported 8,077 cases and at leat 422 deaths so far.

A call for volunteers to perform non-medical tasks in the UK's National Health Service (NHS) was immediately responded to by over 170,000 people within 24 hours.

Stephen Powis of NHS England described the response as an "outbreaks of altruism", adding that he was "bowled over" by the response.

The Boris Johnson government intends to recruit 250,000 volunteers, who must be over 18 years of age and in good health...