The UK has asked the US for 200 ventilators to tackle the coronavirus, Donald Trump has claimed.

The US President said Britain "wanted 200, they need them desperately" in a call for help yesterday.

He added: "We're going to work it out, we've got to work it out. They've been great partners."

The UK has admitted it's having to import thousands of ventilators from overseas to tackle the outbreak - including 300 from China that arrived on Saturday.

Health Minister Edward Argar today confirmed the UK had made a request for more of the machines from the US.

The US President said Britain "wanted 200, they need them desperately" in a call

He told Sky News: "We’re sourcing ventilators from the USA, we’re sourcing them from other countries.

"The USA is one of those countries with which we are working to source ventilators.

"I don’t know the precise figure for each country but of course we’re working with the US."

Mr Argar said the UK currently has between 9,000 and 10,000 ventilators, up from 5,000, including 500 of the 8,000 which were ordered from abroad so far.

Separately, firms such as Dyson and car giants are designing UK-produced ventilators but most of these haven't been approved by medical experts yet.

The UK currently has between 9,000 and 10,000 ventilators, up from 5,000

Mr Argar said: "We are looking around the world to any source of ventilators that meets our specification and are deliverable and reasonable and reasonably priced."

He added: "We will quite happily source those from wherever we can.

"If that’s from the US, we’re very happy to do that as long as they do the job for the people of this country when they need them."

President Trump made the claim during his daily press briefing at the White House on Monday.

He said the UK made the urgent plea as ministers scramble to boost capacity for the sickest of patients.

Meanwhile Boris Johnson remains in a stable condition in intensive care

"The UK called today and they wanted to know would it be possible to get 200," the president said.

"We're going to work it out, we've got to work it out.

"They've been great partners. They wanted 200, they need them desperately."

Mr Trump's statement comes a day after defence firm Babcock said it had received a Government order to produce 10,000 ventilators.

The Government has said 30,000 ventilators will be needed for the NHS to cope with the peak of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Today Mr Argar claimed the UK needs 18,000 ventilators. It wasn't clear if he was referring to 18,000 in total or 18,000 extra.

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Boris Johnson in intensive care

The Health Minister urged people to stay in their homes as he admitted there was no end in sight to the UK's nationwide, police-enforced lockdown.

Boris Johnson originally said the measures would be reviewed after three weeks - meaning they could be lifted after the Easter weekend.

But ministers made clear last night that it was too soon to lift the lockdown.

The law says the lockdown can roll on indefinitely if ministers choose to and it does not legally have to be reviewed for months.

Mr Argar told BBC Breakfast: "We will review it and we will be led by the scientific evidence when that evidence tells us it’s the right time, that we’ve got the evidence base to make any changes.

"That isn’t the situation at the moment."

Meanwhile Boris Johnson is in a stable condition in St Thomas' Hospital after a second night in intensive care. Allies said he had still not been put on a ventilator.