Four Coalition service members have tested positive for coronavirus disease (COVID-19), marking the first positive tests among the NATO Resolute Support Mission in Afghanistan.
The service members were newly-arrived in country and were in a precautionary screening facility when they became symptomatic, were moved to isolation, and were tested.
“We have taken the necessary precautions to identify and quarantine any personnel these four servicemembers may have been in contact with”, said a statement from Resolute Support.
Four Resolute Support servicemembers have tested positive for #COVID19. We are closely monitoring & adjusting so we can protect our force— while protecting the national interests of #NATO Allies and partners here in Afghanistan. pic.twitter.com/Z2uXB5laCz
— Resolute Support (@ResoluteSupport) March 24, 2020
According to the statement, the nationalities and details are being withheld pending release from the appropriate national authorities.
There are approximately 1500 service members and civilians living in screening facilities as a preventative measure. Most are either newly-arriving or returning from leave. The Resolute Support statement said that these service members are living in screening facilities out of an abundance of caution, not because they are sick.
As of March 24, 38 Resolute Support personnel exhibiting flu-like symptoms are in isolation and receiving medical care.
Resolute Support is implementing every available control measure to prevent the spread of the virus. Minimizing the impact of this outbreak requires a shared commitment—each of us individually has a responsibility. We are closely monitoring, continually assessing and adjusting our operations so we can continue to protect our force— while protecting the national interests of NATO Allies and partners here in Afghanistan