Porton Down scientists doing more to help tackle Covid-19

Porton Down scientists doing more to help tackle Covid-19

Published by Henrietta Creasey at 11:35am 19th March 2020.

2 minute read

The MOD's secure research laboratory is playing a key role in the coronavirus crisis.

Staff at the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (DSTL) are working to find a vaccine for Covid -19.

They're also working to understand the virus and help tackle its spread as well as with testing.

A spokesperson for DSTL told FM

"DSTL is providing hazard assessment, microbiological testing and operational analysis support to Government," 

Last month Health Secretary Matt Hancock visited Porton Down to thank the scientists, researchers and the staff "who are working night and day to keep the public safe."

Porton Down satellite view
 Last month the government pledged £20 million to develop new vaccines to combat the world’s deadliest diseases


Meanwhile 20,000 service troops have been placed on standby to help combat the coronavirus.

150 personnel will be trained to  drive oxygen tankers to the NHS if a gap emerges.  

Reservists will be put on notice to mobilise if required. 

The Royal Wessex Yeomanry, has a unit at Old Sarum and other TA units locally include Bulford, Middle Wallop and Stockbridge.

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."

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