10:36 GMT17 January 2021
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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) - The record 5,300 servicemen of the United Kingdom's Armed Forces are engaged in COVID-19 operation across the UK and abroad, and play crucial role in providing support to the National Health Service (NHS), the government said on Wednesday.

    "The record 5,300 personnel committed to winter and Covid operations are today supporting 56 different tasks in the UK and abroad – this includes the vaccine rollout, NHS support and community testing across the length and breadth of the UK," the statement, published on the government's website, said.

    The statement stressed that 1,600 military health care specialists were working in hospitals to support the UK NHS overloaded by the coronavirus pandemic.

    The statement added that the armed forces are also engaged in testing tasks, the vaccination campaign and transportation of health care facilities.

    UK Defense Secretary Ben Wallace said that the national armed forces would continue to assist the NHS in the face of the challenges posed by the pandemic.

    "Our country faces an unprecedented challenge and our Armed Forces are working hand in hand with the NHS. We will continue to bolster those on the front line as they protect and care for the most vulnerable," Wallace said as quoted by the government.

    The UK armed forces started to provide assistance to the country's health care system in the fight against COVID-19 on March 18, 2020, when the defense ministry announced the creation of the COVID Support Force designed to back public services amid the outbreak.

    On Tuesday, public health officials in the UK reported 45,533 new positive tests for COVID-19, a slight decrease from the 46,169 new cases registered on the preceding day.

    The total number of the coronavirus cases in the UK reached 3,164,051, with 83,203 COVID-19 related deaths having been registered.

    Tags:
    lockdown, armed forces, COVID-19, UK
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