Coronavirus deployment: Soldiers to be sent to UK towns in desperate bid to ...

TROOPS could be sent into six northern towns to carry out the rapid unrolling of saliva-based coronavirus kits as part of Boris Johnson's "Operation Moonshot".

PUBLISHED: 16:28, Sat, Oct 31, 2020 | UPDATED: 16:43, Sat, Oct 31, 2020

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The Prime minister has set a target of one million coronavirus tests a day by the end of the year and is believed to have called on the army to help ensure it is reached. His determination to press ahead with mass testing could see more than five million people in England taking a 30-minute saliva test each week.

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This is a voluntary scheme that will better identify who has COVID in our community

Jacob Young

The tests are designed to detect if people have virus particles in their system and will be offered to people whether they have coronavirus symptoms. Results will be ready within half an hour.

Redcar in Cleveland will be among the first town's to take part in a pilot scheme which will see tests offered to 36,000 people will be offered tests.

Local Tory MP Jacob Young reassured residents soldiers "wouldn't be knocking on people's doors".

Coronavirus soldiersSoldiers help with coronavirus testing earlier this year (Image: PA)

He said: "This is a voluntary scheme that will better identify who has COVID in our community, help them to self-isolate, and therefore reduce the spread.

"Mass testing is the quickest way we will see restrictions reduced and so I think it is a good thing for Redcar."

A Department of Health and Social Care spokesperson said: "To build the biggest testing system per head of population of all the major countries in Europe as rapidly as we have done, the skills and expertise of both public and private sector partners were required.

"The number of people directly employed by

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