The Royal Navy’s Fleet Auxiliary vessel Argus, which was used during the Ebola crisis in Sierra Leone, West Africa in the 2015 crisis, could be drafted in to ease the pressure off the NHS.
NHS wards are “heading into the abyss” a top Dr warned on Thursday. Dr Jess Potter, an NHS respiratory specialist at an intensive care unit in London has said she cannot be tested, despite being frontline as the government are ignoring the advice of the World Health Organization (WHO).
A senior military source said officials have discussed how the Naval vessel could “add additional capacity in terms of beds and support within the NHS.”
Military field hospitals which can be erected within a day and small medical units are also being considered by the health Secretary, Matt Hancock.
The British Army has placed 20,000 troops on standby and are ready to be mobilised across London and the UK to help tackle the coronavirus outbreak.
Tank drivers will supply vital oxygen supplies, and will assist the NHS, the MoD said on Wednesday evening.
Defence Secretary Ben Wallace said: “The men and women of our Armed Forces stand ready to protect Britain and her citizens from all threats, including Covid-19.
“The unique flexibility and dedication of the services means that we are able to provide assistance across the whole of society in this time of need.
“From me downwards, the entirety of the Ministry of Defence and the Armed Forces are dedicated to getting the nation through this global pandemic.
“I said at its launch last year that I dreaded the day when it would be needed.
“Sadly, with the outbreak of Covid-19, that day has come faster than any of us would have hoped.”
From Friday the Waterloo and City line will shut and the Night Tube service will stop on Fridays and Saturdays.
From today several other stations were closed, due to “operational restrictions,” up to 40 Tube stations across the London Underground that do not interchange with other lines are closed “until further notice.”