Caller tells LBC the remarkably selfless reason he wants Covid-19 now

13 March 2020, 17:11 | Updated: 13 March 2020, 17:19

By Fiona Jones

This caller explained to Shelagh Fogarty why he wants to contract Covid-19 now.

As the number of UK coronavirus cases has risen to 798 from 590, 70 year old Tony said he wanted coronavirus now for one selfish and one selfless reason.

The selfless reason, he said, is because himself and his wife are currently in good health so hopefully they'd have the mild to moderate seven day infection.

Read more: can you get Covid-19 twice?

"After that we are free agents to go and look after our grandchildren when our children get ill or are at work, so we can be useful to them or any other more elderly people in the neighbourhood if need be."

He said the selfish reason is if he or his wife got complications from Covid-19 such as pneumonia, "there is a ventilator with my name on it now - whereas at the peak when we might have 20 or 30 million people infected in this country, not just 10,000, then the treatment will be rationed and my ventilator will be given to a 40 year old breadwinner - quite rightly."

Shelagh pointed out that there is no right and wrong and Tony said he'd want his son to have it over him.

As he would rather get the virus now, he thought Boris Johnson's coronavirus crisis response yesterday was "pitch perfect" - his only concern is how the UK will cope treating people who get serious complications.

Read more: the latest government advice on when to self-isolate