Omicron surge: UK to deploy troops, military medics to help hospital staff

WION Web Team
London Published: Jan 07, 2022, 02:45 PM(IST)

A traveller walks past a sign directing the public to a COVID-19 testing centre in London  Photograph:( AFP )

Story highlights

Defence secretary Ben Wallace said the armed forces will work "hand-in-hand" with the NHS "to protect the nation from COVID-19".

As Britain faces a shortage of staff in hospitals due to surging coronavirus cases, the defence ministry announced said it will deploy troops in London hospitals.

The UK defence ministry said it will deploy at least 40 military doctors and 160 general duty personnel. At least 200 guards will also be on duty to help the health workers.

Also Read: People putting mumbo jumbo on social media: Johnson slams anti-vaccine campaigners

"The men and women of our armed forces are once again stepping up to support their dedicated colleagues in the NHS (National Health Service)," the UK defence ministry said.

Defence secretary Ben Wallace said the armed forces will work "hand-in-hand" with the NHS "to protect the nation from COVID-19".

Watch: UK eases COVID testing rules

Britain is one of the worst-hit countries hit with the virus with over 149,900 deaths and more than 14 million COVID-19 cases since the pandemic began in March 2020.

The move was backed by the NHS even as PM Boris Johnson said hospitals were on a "war footing". Several hospital staff have been quarantined at home leading to staff shortage amid surging Omicron cases.

Also Read | Explainer: China's 'zero covid' strategy; what it is, how it functions and does it work?

On Tuesday, Britain reported over 200,700 daily COVID-19 cases as PM Johnson highlighted that most patients in ICUs were unvaccinated.

Read in App