24,000 Canadian troops ready to deploy during COVID-19 crisis

The Canadian armed forces are ready to deploy if needed during the COVID-19 pandemic.

That’s the promise of Harjit Sajjan, Minister of National Defence, Monday morning, who said there are 24,000 regular and reserve members “ready to be called into action, if needed.”

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Sajjan said Canada’s armed forces are “always there” when the country needs them.

“We have 10 regular force action units ready to support anywhere in the country where they are needed.”

Sajjan added that there are 50 Ranger patrols ready to focus on more remote areas of the country, as well as the RCAF.

“If it is necessary, (the armed forces) will be ready to be deployed, but we are not planning to deploy the forces at this point,” he said.

“No premier has asked us to deploy.”

Earlier in the government’s daily media conference, Canada’s chief medical health officer, Dr. Theresa Tam, revealed that the country has tested more than 220,000 people for the virus.

Three per cent of the tests have been positive, said Tam, adding that seven per cent required hospital treatment, three per cent became critically ill and one per cent was fatal.

As of Monday morning, there have been 6,671 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Canada, resulting in 66 deaths.

In B.C., there have been 884 cases, resulting in 17 deaths.

Globally, there have been 752,687 cases, resulting in 36,226 deaths. Worst hit have been the U.S., Italy, China and Spain. Almost 159,000 people have fully recovered.

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