By Tony Winterburn • 04 January 2021 • 7:49
800 Extra Soldiers Deployed in Greater Manchester to Provide Community Testing Support. image: MOD
800 Extra Soldiers Deployed in Greater Manchester to Provide Community Testing Support.
A further 800 soldiers have been sent to Greater Manchester in order to provide community testing support across all 10 local authority areas. Troops will help carry out targeted asymptomatic testing of specific populations that may be at a higher risk of infection including social care staff, key workers, public-facing occupations such as bus drivers, and those in high-risk environments such care homes and shared accommodation for the homeless.
The new addition of soldiers means more than 5,000 Armed Forces personnel are currently deployed to support the response to Covid across the UK. The Ministry of Defence (MoD) said the number was “more than at any previous point in the pandemic and the biggest homeland operation the UK has ever seen in peacetime”.
Ben Wallace, the Defence Secretary, said: “The New Year will see new levels of Armed Forces support to overcoming this pandemic.” He added that Manchester would “be an important contribution to protecting the highest risk groups as the city seeks to recover”.
“As a North-West MP, I am acutely aware of the considerable time many of us have been labouring under some form of lockdown and I hope our soldiers will help us get to the day when these restrictions will start to lift,” he said.
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