Wednesday 1 April 2020 8:46 pm

UK mobilises army, navy and air force reservists for coronavirus fight

The UK has mobilised 3,000 army, navy and air force reservists to help fight the coronavirus pandemic, the Ministry of Defence said today.

“It is expected that 3,000 reservists will be required as part of this tranche and will initially be mobilised for six months, to be kept under review,” the ministry said.

Read more: Coronavirus: London’s Excel centre set to open 500 hospital beds next week

“The reserve forces will be used to help deliver a range of activities, such as providing additional medical and logistical support for the NHS, acting as liaison officers and deploying specialist skills such as engineering and accounting.”

Only reservists with specific skills required by the public sector will be mobilised.

No NHS staff or others delivering frontline public services will be called up.

Read more: Southend Hospital will ‘restrict services’ without more protective equipment

The army has already played a role in the effort to combat coronavirus.

Last month the defence minister Ben Wallace announced a force of 1,000 troops would help support the NHS and the public sector during the crisis.

Army engineers have been working on the construction of the emergency Nightingale hospital in London’s Excel exhibition centre.

In Scotland, army helicopters have been assisting the Scottish Ambulance service.