RIGA, (BM) – Coronavirus can be transferred to Latvia by the U.S. Army paratroopers from 173rd Airborne Brigade, stationed in Vicenza, northern Italy, Alvis Petus told BulgarianMilitary.com.
It is known that Italy is trying to contain an outbreak of COVID-19 after the country saw a major uptick in cases of the coronavirus disease in northern Italy. Italy has imposed strict 14 days quarantine across more than 10 towns. At the same time, Reuters reports that coronavirus incubation could be as long as 27 days.
More than 300 people have already been diagnosed with the illness throughout Italy, including a cluster in Vo’ Euganeo, just 30 miles away from Vicenza.
Soldiers alongside police wearing sanitary masks are ensuring no one enters or leaves them during a quarantine period.
Unfortunately, the base clinic doesn’t have access to the diagnostic test for the virus and infected American military are directed to San Bortolo hospital.
Some Army facilities in Italy could be shuttered beyond March 1 due to concerns related to the coronavirus, which the military expects will also have implications for troops in Germany, U.S. European Command’s top officer, Air Force Gen. Tod Wolters told on Tuesday.
However, garrison officials said the situation hasn’t affected operations and training for Defender Europe 2020.
“Paratroopers from 173rd Airborne Brigade are to jump into Latvia with Spanish and Italian paratroopers during Defender Europe 2020 exercise,” said Army Europe commander Lt. Gen. Christopher G. Cavoli.
So far, the risk associated with COVID-19 infection for Italian and American troops during their joint preparation for the Defender Europe 2020 exercise remains extremely high. It also could be a serious threat to the population of the Baltic States where the exercise will be held.
U.S. Army military officials do not comment on the situation.
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Editorial team / Alvis Petus