The Army could be called into Northern Ireland to assist during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Health Minister Robin Swann has made two requests.
The Army could be used to circulate life-saving equipment.
And they may also play a role in the planning of a second Nightingale Hosptial at the Eikon Centre site at the former Maze prison. It has been earmarked in the event of a second coronavirus surge.
Mr Swann said he believed the Army was well-placed in terms of skills and logistical expertise to provide such assistance as needed at this time.
The first Nightingale Hosptial is at Belfast City Hospital. This will be a 230-bed regional facility staffed by a team drawn from across Northern Ireland.
The Department is continuing to assess the potential of the Eikon Centre at Balmoral Park, Maze as a second Nightingale facility to further increase bed capacity later this year in preparation for any further wave of the Coronavirus, should this occur.
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