BORIS Johnson said he “sees light ahead” in the Covid fight as 3,000 troops and military scientists are deployed to 47 testing sites across Liverpool.
The PM said “better days before us” as the Defence Secretary told HOAR how the Armed Forces will unlock Britain from Covid through mass-testing.
Ben Wallace revealed top Ministry of Defence biomedical scientists will oversee troops from the 8 Engineer Brigade, the Royal Anglian Regiment and the King’s Royal Hussars as part of the first trial in testing a whole city.
And he hinted the Liverpool deployment was the first of many, saying: “As the latest testing technologies and developments in combating the virus come into play, Defence stands ready to support local communities, and the nation, to benefit from them as soon as possible.”
From Thursday testing will be carried out in 47 sites across Liverpool. There will be a variety of ways to book a test, including online, walk-up, or by invitation from the local authority.
Testing will be carried out in new and existing test sites, using home kits, in hospitals and care home settings, and schools, universities and workplaces.
Mr Wallace added: “In this week of remembrance, I am privileged to be surrounded by the men and women who are contributing in vast numbers to tackling Covid.
“There were no carers’ claps for them, and much of what they have done has been unseen. Whilst remembrance weekend will look very different this year, please buy a poppy and think of our brave armed forces this week – both those who fought for our freedoms in the past, and those fighting for us to be able to regain them today.”
Today Mr Johnson told the Cabinet: “We don’t want to be doing things to repress liberty, we don’t want to do anything to damage our economy” but “we would see fatalities running in the thousands if nothing was done”.
However, the rapid tests could be “possibly decisive” in defeating the virus and there were also better drugs and the prospect of a vaccine.
“Amid the uncertain gloom of November, I see light ahead and I’m absolutely certain that we will have better days before us,” he told ministers.
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