Medicine
Fri Mar 27, 2020 2:23
US Army Cancels Annual Military Exercise with Philippines Amid Coronavirus Outbreak
TEHRAN (FNA)- US Indo-Pacific Command cancelled Exercise Balikatan 2020 scheduled for May 4-15 in the Republic of the Philippines due to the concerns for health and safety of the participants.

Exercise Balikatan was cancelled "in light of extraordinary circumstances surrounding COVID-19 pandemic", the US Indo-Pacific Command statement read, World News reported.

​The US remains committed to the US-Philippines Mutual Defence Treaty, the statement added. 

As of Thursday, the Pentagon had identified hundreds of coronavirus cases in the military. Pentagon officials announced that 600 individuals linked to the military had now tested positive for the virus worldwide.

The Pentagon announced Wednesday Defense Secretary Mark Esper has ordered a stop to all troop movement overseas for 60 days to attempt to curb the spread of the coronavirus in the military. 

The stop movement order will apply to all US forces, civilian personnel and families — including those scheduled to return stateside and those scheduled to deploy — with some exceptions.

To slow the spread in its ranks, the defense department also on Wednesday raised the military’s health protection level to its second-highest setting for all military installations globally.

The US military is grappling with the coronavirus pandemic, as service members seek to provide aid and protect themselves from infection.

Top military officials have predicted the outbreak could last months as the number of impacted service members rises.

The United States overtook China as the country with the highest number of COVID-19 infections, Johns Hopkins University revealed on its website.

 

 

 

 

 

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