Large -scale international NATO exercise Cold Response, taking place in the North of Norway, has been stopped due to the risk of spreading a coronavirus infection, Free News reported, citing the command of the armed forces of the Kingdom.
“The leadership of the armed forces today (Wednesday) decided to stop major international exercises Cold Response because of the risk of spreading the coronavirus,”-said in a statement.
The leadership of the exercise made this decision because the situation with the spread of the coronavirus is getting out of control. “We want to maintain our defense capability so that we can support society in this unpredictable period,” the broadcaster quoted Rune Jacobsen, the head of the exercise, as saying.
Until now, it was known about one case of infection with the coronavirus in a soldier, after which about 850 of his colleagues were quarantined. On March 8, Finland decided to recall 400 of its troops. However, about 14 thousand representatives of the armed forces of the United States, Great Britain, Germany, France, Belgium, Denmark, Sweden, and Norway were involved in the exercise.
Over the past day, the number of cases in Norway has increased dramatically – if, at the end of the day on Tuesday, the Institute of public health reported 277 cases across the country, then by the middle of the day on Wednesday, their number increased to 430. Norwegian doctors consider the measures taken in the country insufficient and urge the authorities to strengthen them, in particular, to transfer as many workers as possible to a remote form of work, and recommend that residents of the country refuse to travel abroad.