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The AA will give 24-hour breakdown cover to the London Ambulance Service to get emergency teams back on the road during the coronavirus outbreak.

The AA will give 24-hour breakdown cover to the London Ambulance Service to get emergency teams back on the road during the coronavirus outbreak.

Britain’s biggest ambulance service is facing “unprecedented” pressure as Covid-19 hits the capital – with 8,000 999 calls every day.

There are now more than 6,500 confirmed cases of coronavirus in London, and 468 people have died, according to Government and NHS data.

But last week, the ambulance service said 900 of its 6,000 staff were off work sick or self-isolating – a 15 per cent hit to the workforce at a time of extreme demand.

Now the AA’s repair teams will help keep London’s 500 ambulances and 70 cars in working order, so the service can respond faster to residents.

AA mechanics will join London Ambulance repair workers at all 12 workshops in the capital – while 41 AA patrols will help respond to serious breakdowns.

And the motoring association has negotiated a deal with its parts supplier, Euro Car Parts, so all kit for fixing broken ambulances will be provided at cost.

London Ambulance Service chief executive Garrett Emerson said the partnership would help his ambulance drivers “continue to reach those patients that need us most”.

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He said: “We are very grateful for the support of the AA as the country faces the biggest public health challenge in generations – one that is putting unprecedented strain on our service.

“Our staff and volunteers are working harder than ever to provide life-saving care to Londoners.

“This partnership will help our fleet and workshop teams make sure crews can get back out on the road.”

And AA president Edmund King said he would be “delighted” to offer similar help to other ambulance services across the UK.

He said: “This is an unprecedented situation and we’ve all got to pull together to ease the pressure on our emergency services and the NHS.”

He added: “We’re still here to keep key workers and members on the move, but urge motorists to heed government advice and only travel when it’s essential.”

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