Fijian troops returning from Sinai to be quarantined
June 26, 2020 6:50 am
The soldiers deployed to replace those in the mission areas in Sinai [Source: RFMF]
All incoming Fijian troops serving with the Multinational Force and Observer Mission in Sinai, Egypt will be quarantined.
They will be quarantined in a Ministry of Health designated facility in Nadi.
Military Commander Rear Admiral Viliame Naupoto says this as local Egyptian staff working in South Camp which is the MFO missions Headquarters tested positive for COVID-19.
Naupoto says the 162 soldiers have been in the mission area for 16 months in what was supposed to be a twelve-month deployment.
He adds the initial flights to repatriate and change these personnel were conducted in late March but as a result of the COVID-19 restrictions imposed globally by national governments the rotation did not take place.
The soldiers deployed to replace those in the mission areas had to return to Fiji after a refueling stop in the Maldives.
This resulted in further delays to their repatriation in order for the MFO and Fiji to prepare for the return of the 162 personnel in accordance with COVID 19 containment protocols.
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The Fijian Government has decided to repatriate its troops in consultation with the RFMF and the Health Ministry.
As with any military deployment and military service, there are inherent risks involved with the troop’s service, and deployment.
The RFMF is mitigating these risks through the application of proper COVID-19 applicable protocols, in consultation with the Ministry of Health.
The Commander has also expressed gratitude to the government of Australia and its Defence Force, for its continued support of Fiji’s troop rotations.
The Australian flight crew, like Fiji’s troops, will be exposed to the same risks from COVID 19 during the movement of troops and while on the ground in Sinai.
The RFMF says it is learning and adapting to the new normal to ensure its personnel are safe and back home after an extended tour of duty.