A man has been jailed for stealing protective masks, paper suits and hand gel to protect NHS staff from the coronavirus from an ambulance.

The equipment was meant to protect paramedics bravely working amid the coronaviru s pandemic but Mark Manley helped himself tp it.

The 35-year-old took it from an ambulance near London Bridge station and attacked a security guard and racially abused another when confronted a court heard.

Police said some of the items he stole could no longer be returned for NHS staff to use against coronaviru s because they had been contaminated.

Manley, 35, was handed a six month sentence at Croydon Magistrates' Court on Monday after being found guilty of theft and assault on an emergency worker, reports MyLondon.

The Metropolitan Police Service said officers were called to St Thomas Street in Southwark at 9.19pm on Saturday, March 28 to reports that equipment had been stolen from an ambulance.

When Manley was challenged by security staff he attacked one of them, injuring their face, and racially abused another, the court was told.

He had taken a bag containing the personal protection equipment (PPE) including masks, paper suits and hand gel.

Manley, of no fixed abode, was detained by the security guards and patrolling British Transport Police nearby at London Bridge.

It is something that has, at some point, touched all our lives.

From cradle to grave, the National Health Service, and the incredible professionals within it who care for us, is a part of British life.

Today, more than ever, we should cherish those who dedicate themselves to our care, heedless of their own health as they work tirelessly to care for people in the face of the coronavirus pandemic.

Nurses and others - employed by the NHS and any other part of health and care - we have never needed them more.

So let’s show them some love, and create a living map of gratitude from every corner of Britain.

Click HERE to drop a heart on the map, and show you appreciate the efforts undertaken daily in the NHS.

Thanks a million, NHS workers - we love you.

Yesterday the UK experienced its biggest day-on-day rise in deaths so far, with the Government now facing increasing pressure over its Covid-19 testing policy.

Some 2,352 patients have died in hospital after testing positive for the virus as of 5pm on Tuesday, the Department of Health said, up by 563 from 1,789 the day before.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said in a video posted on Twitter that it was a "sad, sad day" and that his "thoughts go out to the families of the victims".

Meanwhile, Downing Street said more than 2,000 NHS staff have so far been tested for coronavirus.