Up to 20,000 troops on standby to help deal with coronavirus outbreak in the UK

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Up to 20,000 service personnel in the UK will be put on standby to help combat the coronavirus, with troops gearing up to drive oxygen tankers, support the police and boost hospital capacity.

Reservists will on Thursday be put on notice to mobilise if required as part of a war-like effort to prepare the armed forces in case the government calls upon them in large numbers.

But the military must also deal with the threat posed by COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus.

Commanders are taking steps to isolate or quarantine personnel on the UK’s most important security missions – such as the ability to respond to a terrorist attack or to protect UK skies from hostile aircraft – to ensure they are not sick.

The military input could rise significantly if the crisis escalates and the government is forced to call on the Ministry of Defence for assistance.

In anticipation, up to 10,000 soldiers, sailors, airmen and Royal Marines will be put on a higher readiness to mobilise.

Read more via Sky News

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