New figures have revealed the number of Armed Forces personnel who tested positive for coronavirus through the UK national testing programme increased by more 30% in the last four weeks.
As of 19 February this year, 7,309 UK military personnel had received positive test results since the outbreak began, up 1,754 since 22 January 2021 – a 31.5% increase.
The latest statistics released by the Ministry of Defence (MOD) show that 126,596 UK service personnel have been tested for COVID-19.
A total of 7,750 civilian defence personnel have also been given a COVID test.
The MOD said the tests have been carried out at regional testing sites, mobile units, hospitals, or at home using testing kits.
Across all three services, the British Army has seen the most positive tests since the start of the pandemic, with 3,870, while the Navy has had 2,194 positive results and the RAF 1,245.
The majority of the positive cases among serving personnel have been in the UK (6,858), with 451 cases overseas.
As of December 2020, there were 195,050 UK service personnel, meaning 3.75% (7,309) of all UK military personnel have tested positive for coronavirus.
In the UK, there have been a total of 4,201,358 positive cases of COVID, around 6.2% of the population (based upon the Office for National Statistic' latest data on the country's population.
As of 19 February, the British Army has carried out 47,289 tests on its service personnel, with 19,570 in the Royal Navy and 1,889 in the Royal Air Force.
A total of 57,631 tests have been carried out on service personnel in UK Strategic Command.
The UK Armed Forces have played a key role in the country's response to the coronavirus pandemic, including setting up and running mobile testing centres and helping to construct the NHS Nightingale hospitals.
Defence is also assisting with the rollout of the COVID-19 vaccines, while many medical personnel are supporting frontline heath workers.
Cover image: MOD.