Boris Johnson brings in the army in fight against coronavirus

Boris Johnson brings in the army in fight against coronavirus: Expert MOD planners are scrambled to help councils and emergency services test responses

  • 38 non-uniform Ministry of Defence staff assigned to Local Planning Forums
  • The logistics experts will help test and improve local coronavirus response plans
  • Comes after Boris Johnson stepped up the UK’s response to spread of disease
  • Coronavirus symptoms: what are they and should you see a doctor?

Boris Johnson has sent out army experts from the Ministry of Defence to help councils and emergency services make sure their coronavirus plans are up to scratch. 

Some 38 non-uniform MOD personnel have been assigned to Local Planning Forums across the UK. 

Those forums are tasked with putting in place local plans to deal with extraordinary events and the experts will help to assess the effectiveness of what has already been put in place. 

Ministry of Defence experts have been assigned to Local Planning Forums across the UK to help assess their coronavirus response plans 

Boris Johnson yesterday announced a toughening of the UK’s response to the deadly outbreak

Downing Street confirmed the move today and said the staff who have been sent out have ‘logistical expertise’ and are well-versed in how best to respond to pandemics. 

It comes after Boris Johnson announced new measures yesterday to try to stem the spread of the deadly disease. 

The latest recommendations include telling anyone with a persistent cough or fever to self-isolate for seven days and to advise the elderly against going on cruises. 

The Prime Minister’s Official Spokesman said today: ‘In line with the government’s action plan, 38 non-uniform MOD planners are going to be helping in local areas to provide support to public services, local authorities and emergency services in preparing their response to the coronavirus outbreak.

‘The work that they are doing could include helping to test existing plans and develop new plans specific to this situation.’

The 38 experts have already been dispatched to their assigned forums. 

The government’s original coronavirus ‘action plan’, published on March 3, paved the way for the staff to be assigned. 

It stated: ‘The Ministry of Defence has put in place plans to ensure the delivery of its key operations in the UK and overseas. 

‘There are also well practised arrangements for Defence to provide support to Civil Authorities if requested.’    

Downing Street insisted the MOD staff were ‘definitely not’ helping to come up with potential public disorder contingency plans. 

He said: ‘Maintaining public order is a matter for the police and always has been.’

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