Military planners and 'gold commanders' called in to help battle the coronavirus Covid-19

Every area of Britain has been placed on an emergency footing, with military planners and 'gold commanders' drafted in to help locals get through the Covid-19 pandemic.
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Robert Jenrick, the Secretary of State for Housing, said the "unprecedented step in peacetime" will see centres established across the UK for the first time since the Second World War.

He said each will be "led by gold commanders" with "senior members of emergency services - police, fire, ambulance services - and councils and the NHS to lead communities through this challenging period, from Cornwall to Cumbria".

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He said: "Embedded within each group will be members of the armed forces, including some of the finest military planners in the world."

Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick, helped deliver free food boxes to the most clinically vulnerable in Tonbridge, Kent, yesterday, as the scheme is rolled out across England (Picture: Gareth Fuller/PA Wire)Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick, helped deliver free food boxes to the most clinically vulnerable in Tonbridge, Kent, yesterday, as the scheme is rolled out across England (Picture: Gareth Fuller/PA Wire)
Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick, helped deliver free food boxes to the most clinically vulnerable in Tonbridge, Kent, yesterday, as the scheme is rolled out across England (Picture: Gareth Fuller/PA Wire)

Mr Jenrick said the centres will plan local battle-plans against to the coronavirus, using their "expertise and judgement and their leadership" to ensure a "comprehensive, coordinated" response.

One priority will be providing personal protection equipment (PPE) to those who need it.

He claimed 170m masks, 42.8m gloves, 13.7m aprons, 182,000 gowns, almost 10m items of cleaning equipment, and 2.3m pairs of eye protectors have been delivered to 58,000 hospital and health care settings so far, including GP practices and pharmacies.

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All care homes, hospices, and home care providers "have received or will shortly receive deliveries", Mr Jenrick said, adding: "We simply cannot and should not ask people to be on the frontline without the right protective equipment.

"To all those who reply on this equipment, and to their families and loved ones, we understand, and we will not stop until we have got you the equipment you need."

Mr Jenrick, who was taking the Government's daily Covid-19 briefing, again urged people to adhere to the lockdown measures and practice social distancing.

He warned: "The virus is indiscriminate. It doesn't matter who, where, or how old you are.

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"We each have a part to play by staying at home, protecting the NHS, and helping to save lives. We all have a duty to one another to keep everyone safe."

When asked whether the reporting of deaths was accurate, deputy chief medical officer Dr Jenny Harries said: "Every death that we have is a really sad event. It involves a family and a lot of sadness.

"We have to make sure that when we're reporting the family is content and knows and all our data is absolutely accurate."

She added: "There is is always a time lag for us to check and evaluate that the data across the system is linked.

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"We do not want to be misreporting data and then having to correct it.

"The public would not have confidence if we were doing that.

"As we have sadly had to register more deaths, that time period takes longer. "

Dr Harries said the Government would review lockdown measures in three weeks.

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She said people had taken "quite some time to get used to this new way of living", but there was evidence the country was getting better at social distancing.

She added: "The issue of the three weeks is for us to review where we are and see if we've had an impact jointly on the slope of that curve.

"But I think to make it clear to the public if we are successful we will have squashed the top of that curve, which is brilliant, but we must not then suddenly revert to our normal way of living that would be quite dangerous.

"If we stop then all of our efforts will be wasted and we could potentially see a second peak.

"So over time, probably over the next six months, we will have a three-week review."