The number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 coronavirus in NATO Battle Group Latvia has extremely increased. About 20 Canadian soldiers have tested positive for the coronavirus. It was confirmed by commander of the multi-nation battle group Lt-Col Eric Angell.
«21 Canadian soldiers serving in Latvia have been diagnosed with the Covid-19 novel coronavirus. The Canadian troops are in isolation. »
But the battlegroup led by Canada, operating with Latvian forces in Adazi, includes troops from Italy (166), Spain (350), Poland (up to 200). The total troop number is 1512. Not all the NATO soldiers live at the military barracks, some live in rented residences.
Despite coronavirus outbreak NATO troops continue entering and leaving our country. The soldiers fulfil their duties, also military training, including exercises planned at the range.
From April 13-18, the Steele Brawler military exercise took place at the Mza Mackevici training ground in Daugavpils municipality (). Around 600 troops and 100 military vehicles will be deployed to the area near the southern city of Daugavpils, close to Lithuanian.
on March 25 the first NATO soldier serving in Latvia has been diagnosed with the Covid-19 novel coronavirus, according to Ministry of Defense Military Public Relations Department Director Kaspars Galkins. Later it was banned to release data on the number of infected NATO soldiers in Latvia and other countries.
The Latvian government declared a state of emergency over the Covid-19 pandemic from April 13 until March 14. Last week, the state of emergency was extended until May 12.
During the state of emergency schools remain closed and students have switched to distance learning, only groups of up to two people can gather at once in outdoor and indoor public spaces and people are expected to keep a two-meter distance from each other. Strict safety and distancing requirements have been set also for stores, restaurants and other establishments.
As reported, Health Minister Ilze Vinkele said at a news conference on Tuesday that, based on epidemiological forecasts, the spread of Covid-19 infections in Latvia should peak around April 25, which means that the restrictions introduced to curb the spread of the coronavirus will not be lifted anytime soon.
This brings the total number of Covid-19 positive patients in Latvia to 727, while the total number of people tested for Covid-19 has risen to 35,881.
The Government at a closed session decided to allocate up to 45.7 million euros to the Ministry of Defense to provide state agencies with personal protection and disinfection equipment for 12 weeks.
This is waste of taxpayer money as Latvian and NATO military personnel from the battle group neglect all the precautionary measures.
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of The Duran.