Army 'on alert' as flu, Brexit, floods and coronavirus set to hit over winter

Boris Johnson has ordered the Army to prepare for a perfect storm of coronavirus, flu outbreak, floods and Brexit this winter.

Lieutenant General Douglas Chalmers, head of military strategy and operations at the Ministry of Defence, revealed the Prime Minister wants the Army to finish performing ‘tabletop exercises’ by the end of August as they get ready for the worst case scenario.

The MoD boss stressed Britain is facing the threat of ‘the normal flu season’, combined with potential flooding, the Brexit transition period ending on December 31, as well as the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

There are fears this potential four-way disaster could overwhelm the NHS and cripple its response to a second wave of the virus during the winter months.

Revealing the details to the House of Lords, Lt Gen Chalmers said: ‘As we look towards the winter now, we know about the normal flu season.’

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He added: ‘The crisis is still very firmly with us, and definitely as we look towards the winter now, we know about the normal flu season, we’re obviously transitioning out of the EU, and we have our normal floods that come on.

‘So we are looking very heavily at how we do winter preparedness and, because we run tabletop exercises very routinely, we will support some of the departmental tabletop exercising in Whitehall and local resilience forums.

‘No10 has been very clear those exercises need to be done by the end of August in order that we can learn from them and then act on some of those elements that have been brought forward.’

Last night, the PM warned lockdown-sceptic Tory MPs the UK could suffer a second spike spike unless it ‘throttles the life’ out of the virus, HuffPost reports.

‘Don’t think it couldn’t happen here,’ he told the Tory backbench 1922 committee.

He added: ‘We can’t be complacent. We are doing our best to throttle the life out of the virus.’

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