British troops could guard hospitals and supermarkets in drastic new measures in a bid to tackle the coronavirus.
It comes as shoppers have stripped supermarkets bare in a frenzy not seen since the country’s riots nearly a decade ago.
As a result, it is understood the government will deploy the armed forces where they will go into their second phase of plans to contain the deadly bug.
As deaths soar, plans were announced to isolate people over the age of 70 for a number of months.
The plans feature in a list of strict rules set to be revealed later today by Boris Johnson as the pandemic rages
As part of plans for a worst-case scenario situation, defence sources said that Army units are stepping up their training for public order roles – including the guarding of hospitals and supermarkets.
The source said officers from the Royal Logistics Corps will food convoys, while the Royal Army Medical Corps could build tented field hospitals next to care homes.
Troops trained in chemical, biological and nuclear warfare will deep-clean empty public buildings in case they need to be turned in to hospitals or morgues.
Members of the Army’s police force, the Royal Military Police, will also work with constabularies across Britain.