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In recent days, there has been a substantial increase in the involvement of world military forces and defense organizations in the states’ coping with the Coronavirus spread. Defense industries have been making efforts to adapt innovative technologies to the requirements emanating from the global crisis. Armies across the world are temporarily putting down their guns and their traditional defense roles in order to help governments cope with the pandemic.

The question is, according to the economist.com, whether this would have far-reaching implications for the forces’ military proficiency.

Interested in learning more about dual-use technologies in cyber and HLS fields? Attend i-HLS’ InnoTech Expo in Tel Aviv – Israel’s largest innovation, HLS, and cyber technologies expo – on November 18-19, 2020

In Israel, the Ministry of Defense has been taking more responsibilities in the response to the crisis, including the detection and adaptation of hotel rooms for the hospitalization of Corona patients. An emergency multi-disciplinary team has been established by IMoD’s DDR&D (MAFAT) and other agencies in order to find cutting-edge technological solutions to tasks such as immediate diagnosis of virus carriers, mapping carriers routes, developing and manufacturing ventilators, etc.

Since the outbreak of the crisi, the major defense industries were asked by the healthcare and defense establishment to consider their integration in the rapid manufacturing of respiratory ventilators in Israel. According to calcalist.co.il, IAI will consider ventilators production at its Mabat Space factory. Many companies and startups have been offering solutions to urgent needs.

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Around the world, military and police forces were being drafted in to help patrol and enforce the lockdown in China, Malaysia, Peru, Italy, Spain and more. In Northern Italy, a fleet of army trucks carried away bodies from hospitals.

In New York, the US Army Corps of Engineers is planning to convert more than 10,000 empty hotel and college dorm rooms into hospital rooms to treat Coronavirus cases and is considering similar operations for Washington state and California, according to the Corps’ commanding general. Each room’s existing self-contained air conditioning unit will be converted into a “negative pressure room” — a requirement to treat and isolate someone with Coronavirus.

According to miamiherald.com, the operation will be completed within days, including intensive care units. Using existing hotel and dorm space is the fastest way to generate the number of hospital beds, said Lt. Gen. Todd T. Semonite, chief of engineers and commanding general of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The hotel or dorm rooms would follow a blueprint design that he said was just approved by the Federal Emergency Management Agency. 

The US Army is also working with a consortium of medical researchers looking for technology solutions to slow the spread of the Coronavirus and treat the patients, as reported by militaryaerospace.com. Army researchers are trying to speed fielding of test and treatment equipment, patient-monitoring technologies, and medication to treat patients in non-hospital environments.

President Donald Trump announced that two U.S. Navy hospital ships would be deployed on each of America’s coasts to expand the availability of hundreds of hospital beds. Another option could be for DOD to deploy field hospitals. Trump has also activated the US National Guard in hardest-hit states.

However, abcnews.com points out that deploying the unstaffed hospital ships and field hospitals could mean calling up reservists who are healthcare professionals in the civilian world, causing them to leave communities that need their services to treat the pandemic.

Interested in learning more about dual-use technologies in cyber and HLS fields? Attend i-HLS’ InnoTech Expo in Tel Aviv – Israel’s largest innovation, HLS, and cyber technologies expo – on November 18-19, 2020 at Expo Tel Aviv, Pavilion 2.

For details and registration