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Apr 29 2020

JFCBS Covid-19 Staff update 29 April 2020

Brunssum, the Netherlands, Wednesday 29 April 2020

Even in times of a worldwide Corona crisis, NATO continues to conduct its missions and operations to preserve and generate peace e.g. the Resolute Support (RS) Mission in Afghanistan and the KFOR Mission in Kosovo. And NATO efforts to fight the pandemic also extend to these mission areas.

For example, over the last two weeks, Resolute Support helped to provide critical supplies to Afghan security forces in 14 provinces, including more than 63,000 masks, over 31,000 pairs of gloves, more than 35,000 bottles of sanitizers and disinfectants, thousands of sets of personal protective equipment for medical practitioners and patients, more than 3,000 sets of protective eyewear and dozens of infrared thermometers.

As for Kosovo, KFOR has donated personal protection equipment worth 70,000 Euro to hospitals in Priština and Gračanica, in support to the ongoing efforts by the Kosovo institutions against the COVID-19 pandemic. The project was funded by NATO and implemented by the KFOR Civil-Military Cooperation team, and is part of the overall commitment of the Alliance in support of its operations and of its member countries and partners.

NATO is aware that scientific evidence to support the use of face masks as a means of reducing the transmission of COVID-19 in the general population is limited and contested. Nations have also differed in their interpretation and application of the guidance to the use of these masks, giving an uneven and inconsistent approach. Given there is no Host Nation requirement to use face masks in The Netherlands at present, the JFC Brunssum Medical Advisor does not currently recommend the implementation of this measure for Headquarters JFC Brunssum staff. But the development of the crisis will be continuously monitored and the respective recommendations updated accordingly. The rules of keeping physical distancing and frequent hand hygiene continue to apply. 

Story by JFC Brunssum Public Affairs Office

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