UK army personnel deployed in London hospitals short staffed due to COVID
Around 200 military personnel have been deployed in London hospitals due to staff shortages caused by the omicron variant of COVID-19, News.Az reports citing Anadolu Agency.
The army personnel include 40 military doctors and 160 without medical training who will help check in patients, maintain stocks, and do basic checks, according to a Ministry of Defense statement on Friday.
Thousands of medical staff in hospitals have gone off duty after testing positive as the omicron variant has surged in the British capital.
"The men and women of our Armed Forces are once again stepping up to support their dedicated colleagues in the NHS as they work hand-in-hand to protect the nation from COVID-19,” Defense Secretary Ben Wallace said, referring to the National Health Service.
"They have shown their worth time and again throughout this pandemic, whether driving ambulances, administering vaccines or supporting patients in hospital, and they should be proud of their contribution to this truly national effort."
UK health officials on Thursday reported a further 179,756 COVID-19 cases.
In the last week the number of those testing positive in a week has risen to over 1.27 million, a 29% jump.
Some hospital trusts outside London report that 19% of their staff are off duty due to COVID-19. Other National Health Service organizations report a 10% absence as personnel are sick or isolating.