Steps are being taken to try to prevent the spread of Coronavirus (Covid-19) in the armed forces.

Jonathan Edwards asked via a Parliamentary written question:

“To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what steps he is taking to prevent the spread of covid-19 among the armed forces.”

James Heappey, the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Defence, responded:

“Defence has issued to all Defence Establishments and personnel the latest Public Health England (PHE) advice on measures to mitigate the impact of COVID-19. An online staff information portal is in operation with the latest PHE advice and relevant Frequently Asked Questions. PHE material is being displayed in all parts of Defence and all Defence establishments are implementing recommended cleaning regimes. Some additional arrangements may be required around a small number of sensitive capabilities. Defence is keeping this situation under review.”

Covid-19 in the UK

As of the 17th of March, after performing 50,442 tests, the Government say that there have been 1,950 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the United Kingdom. 60 people in the UK with confirmed infection have died and one further death has been confirmed in the British Overseas Territory of the Cayman Islands. Additionally, one British citizen died in the outbreak on the Diamond Princess cruise ship.

The Ministry of Defence can call on 300 GPs, 1,200 nurses and a significant amount of surgeons. While many of these personnel already work full-time in the NHS, the MoD could deploy 2,500 combat medical technicians if requested to do so.

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Daniele Mandelli

Hmmmm. So what if sites like Pathfinder building, as an example, which I believe is open plan, have someone with symptoms. The whole room should be then isolating.

There goes our 24 hour intelligence capability co ordination. Same goes for places like GCHQ.

Nightmare.

WeeWill

And every secure ops room or building complex with forced air supply. Although the dangers of this set up are known and mitigations are in place.

David Flandry

They can try to slow the spread, but “prevent”, I rather doubt it.