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Covid Support Force: Update

May 5, 2020

Hundreds of military personnel have been helping to distribute PPE for NHS England. They are based at distribution centres across the country. UK-wide, the military has helped to deliver over 1.1 billion PPE products, including 173 million masks, 163 million aprons, 1.3 million gowns and 440 million pairs of gloves.

As part of our military's work to support the frontline and boost NHS capacity, military specialists were deployed to assist NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde with the fitting of FFP3 face masks. In doing this, they will help to make sure that our brilliant NHS staff get the protection that they deserve.

Personnel from 3 Royal Welsh have been helping with the distribution of PPE at Cardiff Airport. So far, they have helped to unload 200,000 fluid resistant gowns which have been flown in from Cambodia. They will be on standby to provide further support as and when required.

RAF eXperimental (RAFX), the digital unit at RAF Leeming in North Yorkshire, have been working closely with NHSX and partners to develop a smartphone app that could prevent the spread of COVID-19. Personnel at the base are trialling the new app, which uses Bluetooth to determine a user’s proximity to other devices. If a person displays symptoms, they can choose to share this information with the NHS via the app, which will then alert other users with whom they have been in close proximity.

Personnel from across the Armed Forces have been using 3-D printers to manufacture PPE components for their NHS colleagues on the frontline. Royal Navy Reservists at HMNB Devonport have been manufacturing headbands for facemasks in collaboration with other dockyard agencies. Army Engineers have been producing face shields, contributing a significant number to the 39,000 produced so far. And the Chinook Support Centre at RAF Odiham have been manufacturing clips to enhance the comfort of masks worn for long periods.

Images: © MOD Crown Copyright.


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