Government hampers will this week be delivered to 50,000 people deemed most at risk from the coronavirus outbreak, as the whole country was on Sunday placed on an “emergency footing.”

Boris Johnson has promised to deliver food and vital supplies to people who have been told to self-isolate for 12 weeks because of medical conditions that make them vulnerable to the disease, and who have no friends or family to help them.

However, Robert Jenrick, the Communities Secretary, said the first tranche of parcels would take until the end of the week to deliver, despite them covering just a fraction of the 1.5 million people who have been told to cocoon themselves indoors.