Defence Secretary, Ben Wallace, has announced the Ministry of Defence are to place 20,000 troops on standby, to support the already stretched emergency services as they tackle the coronavirus pandemic.

The 'Covid Support Force' will be ready to assist if they get called upon as the nation fights against coronavirus.

The MoD have confirmed 150 service personnel will be trained to drive oxygen tankers, should the NHS require the assistance.

Mr Wallace said: "From me downwards the entirety of the Ministry of Defence and the armed forces are dedicated to getting the nation through this global pandemic"

Major General Charlie Stickland, Assistant Chief of the Defence Staff Operations and Commitments said:

"Putting more personnel at a higher state of readiness and having our reserves on standby gives us greater flexibility to support public services as and when they require our assistance.

"The Covid Support Force, potentially drawing upon our highly skilled scientists at Dstl or oxygen tanker drivers, will form part of a whole force effort to support the country during its time of need"