NATO have released the following statement regarding Coronavirus.

“We can confirm that one NATO staff member working at NATO HQ in Brussels has tested positive for COVID-19. The staff member had come back from a holiday in northern Italy, felt unwell at the end of last week, and was tested due to the onset of fever-like symptoms. The staff member is currently at home in self-isolation. Within minutes of receiving the result, all the immediate work colleagues were informed. They had been working from home at the end of last week and continue to do so. All NATO headquarters staff have also been informed of the confirmed case. NATO continues to monitor the situation on an ongoing basis and to take all necessary measures.

To ensure the safety of staff and visitors, NATO has already taken preventative measures at our headquarters, based on guidance from the World Health Organization, to reduce the risk of the further spread of infection. These include the temporary suspension of certain staff travel, encouraging staff to work from home, and the temporary suspension of group visits to NATO HQ in Brussels. We remain in close contact with the Belgian authorities. NATO has robust business continuity measures and plans in place, ensuring that our essential work continues.”

Earlier, we reported that the Norwegian Armed Forces had decided to end NATO exercise Cold Response. The closure will be conducted in a “controlled matter”.

Cold Response is a Norwegian-led exercise in which NATO-allies and partner nations are invited to participate. More than 15,000 soldiers from the USA, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Germany, France, Belgium, Denmark  and Sweden are participating in the exercise.

The 15,000 international troops are now likely to return home. The exercise involved 2,000 UK personnel.

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expat

Penny Morduants idea to build hospital ships is now looking like a really good idea, too late for this epidemic.

Mark B

First but certainly not the last.

Bearing in mind Government policy accepts that this virus will spread through the fitter population which should include the military it would seem sensible to isolate some units whilst allowing the natural infection of others so that they have recovered for duty during summer/autumn?

Not sure it is a good policy to have the slow spread of the virus through any given unit?

expat

I would agree would make sense to isolate some parts of the military then whilst letting others build up immunity. I personally think the UK approach is correct the evidence does suggest fit and health people will get over the virus and become immune, as long a those most at risk are distanced whilst the ‘herds’ immunity is built up impact should be limited and more importantly a one off shock.

Rob

In the UK the Armed Forces, our Armed Forces, should be mobilised to aid the civil power now. This is a national defensive effort and that means ALL the levers of state. I would hope warning orders and preparational planning are advanced. The Armed Forces should: Be preparing to deploy Regular Medical Regts (not Reserve as they are already in the NHS) to support the NHS upto and including Field Hospitals. CBRN detection units could be deployed to test and isolate. Soldiers, from all units, may need to support the Police on the streets. Reg & Res soldiers may be… Read more »

Mark B

Would the shopping etc. not be better handled by volunteer groups coordinated by the LA. Might the military not be better off organising the logistics and providing kit and force only as and when needed?