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May 6 2020

JFCBS Covid-19 Staff update 06 May 2020

Brunssum, the Netherlands, Wednesday 06 May 2020

To respond to the Coronavirus pandemic NATO is launching a practical scientific cooperation with Allies and partners to enhance COVID-19 diagnosis. This multi-year project is launched within the framework of NATO’s Science for Peace and Security (SPS) Programme, and is led by scientists on the frontline of COVID-19 research from Italy and Switzerland. The 24-month initiative aims to enhance the speed and efficiency of COVID-19 diagnosis through a multidisciplinary approach, by bringing together experts in the field of immunology, virology and molecular biology. This project supports NATO’s efforts to enhance resilience and civil preparedness of Allied and partner nations, and highlights the Alliance’s commitment to further enhance research and development efforts to combat COVID-19. The NATO SPS Programme supports security-relevant civil science and technology addressing a set of Allied-approved priorities.

Even in times of Corona, Alliance and member nations’ efforts to train their forces abilities to deter any potential aggressor(s) continue. In the maritime domain, the British Royal Navy joins forces with the US Navy in arctic waters off the coast of Norway for cold-weather training. British and US frigates and destroyers, a fast combat support ship, a submarine and maritime patrol aircraft participate in this exercise. In total, more than 1,200 military personnel from the two nations are involved. Purpose is to train and enhance cooperation between the NATO partners in different maritime warfare scenarios under the harsh weather conditions in the far north.

Tonight, the Dutch government will announce relaxations of the COVID-19 measures for The Netherlands. It is to be expected that barbershops and other contact-professions will likely be allowed to re-open beginning of next week. Also, it is likely that as of 01 June, high-schools and secondary schools will start again and terraces and beach-pavilions will be allowed to re-open. It is unlikely there will be continuing obligations to wear protective equipment such as masks and gloves.

Nevertheless, all JFC Brunssum staff are reminded to continue observing the rules of physical distancing and application of best practice hand hygiene.

Story by JFC Brunssum Public Affairs Office

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