Almost 10 per cent of UK Armed Forces personnel are self-isolating

Almost 10 per cent of Britain’s Armed Forces personnel are self-isolating because of coronavirus – as the head of the Army says troops could be deployed to CARE HOMES to boost testing effort

  • Estimated 13,000 – 9.1% – of regular and reserve forces now absent from duty  
  • They are self-isolating because of family members and helping the vulnerable  
  • Fewer than 100 personnel have tested positive for Covid-19, figures show 
  • Learn more about how to help people impacted by COVID

Thousands of British military personnel are self-isolating because of coronavirus, it emerged today

Figures reveal an estimated 13,000 regular and reserve personnel are currently absent from duty – accounting for 9.1 per cent of the military.

Fewer than 100 service personnel have tested positive for Covid-19, statistics released for the first time show.

The 9.1 per cent figure refers to those self-isolating because of family members and also tending to vulnerable people. It includes those people working from home.

Defence sources stressed the absenteeism has not affected the effort against coronavirus or any critical defence outputs.

The Mail understands not all personnel who show symptoms are being tested for the virus, which could explain why the figure for positive cases is less than 100.

Meanwhile the head of the Armed Forces said troops could be deployed to care homes to carry out mass testing of residents and staff.

General Sir Nick Carter said they could roll out ‘pop-up’ sites like mobile libraries to make sure isolated communities are given the tests. 

Dozens of troops have received training by Boots pharmacy so they administer coronavirus test to frontline NHS workers who come to sites to see if they are fit to work

General Sir Nick Carter said they could roll out ‘pop-up’ sites like mobile libraries to make sure isolated communities are given the tests

In a virtual briefing on Britain’s military effort against Covid-19, the Chief of the Defence Staff said: ‘We are increasingly involved in the government’s testing programme.

‘Partly in terms of the planning and all that goes with that but also in terms of thinking in ways of which the testing can be rolled out to isolated communities and indeed perhaps in future to care homes.

‘And the idea of pop-ups, a bit like mobile libraries, that are able to get out and touch the community more closely are the sorts of things that are in development at the moment.

‘And the military is involved in trying to construct that and to create prototypes that perhaps could then be lent out to industry in short order.’

Military personnel have already started conducting the tests on NHS staff across the country after they received training on how to carry out the throat and nose swabs.

Dozens of troops have received training by Boots pharmacy so they administer coronavirus test to frontline NHS workers who come to sites to see if they are fit to work.

Army medical personnel have already begun testing NHS staff across the country.

A total of 180 personnel have been set aside for the testing task and a number of extra sites have been scoped for the testing to be conducted at.

A total of 32 soldiers in Birmingham have received the initial training from Boots and are training the rest of the contingent themselves.

Troops drawn from the tri-service Covid Support Force are also being deployed to Manchester and Glasgow to start helping to test NHS staff in the first instance.

Sir Nick said the scientists in Porton Down were also ‘providing valuable help to the whole way testing is being conducted and will be conducted in the future’, He went on: ‘Our role is very much in support of the heroic health care workers on the front line. We are for once in our lives not on the frontline and it is very important as we provide the support that is necessary that we recognise that.

‘In terms of the intent that I have issued to the armed forces – humility being the watchword in the way that we help and support others.’

 

Source: Read Full Article