Four million jobs have been furloughed in the UK and a quarter of businesses have stopped trading, UK Chancellor Rishi Sunak told the UK Parliament today.

He said that “we should be in no doubt” about the seriousness of the economic situation.

“We can’t save every job and every business” Sunak said, adding that “these are already tough times, and there will be more to come.”

Sunak told members of Parliament he understood and shared people’s anxiety, but that the most important thing the government can do to protect the economy is to “protect the health of our people.”

He said that the government’s financial assistance package should act as a bridge, supporting viable businesses to stay afloat and protecting the jobs of people who would have otherwise been laid off during what he called a “sharp and significant” crisis.

Sunak said 16 billion GBP — about $19.8 billion USD — has been paid out so far to the National Health Service and other public services, and around half a million employers applied for the job retention scheme, which guarantees to pay 80% of workers’ wages up to the 2,500 GBP (about 3,100 USD) if they are put on leave.