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Canadian military shifts to pre-pandemic planning

Preparation for the spread of the virus within Canada has shifted the military’s focus toward planning for the potential of a pandemic.
Libby Emmons Brooklyn, NY

As the Covid-19 coronavirus continues its trot around the globe the Canadian military has shifted to “pre-pandemic planning,” according to the Global News.

Preparation for the spread of the virus within Canada has shifted the military’s focus toward planning for the potential of a pandemic, according to Canada’s Chief of Defence, CAF General Jonathan Vance. To date, the virus has infected over 94,000 individuals worldwide, and claimed the lives of over 3,200.

On Wednesday, a military-wide order was issued to all members of the Canadian Armed Forces, stating that there is a pandemic alert, and directives to prevent viral spread both within the military and across the country. General Vance stated that they are expecting about 25 percent of the military to be absent due to contagion.

In the event of an outbreak, this directive is in service both to the military, it’s operational effectiveness, and the civilian population of Canada. “One is to preserve the force and our ability to function, should there be a pandemic, and the other is to support Canadians,” said Vance.

Vance notes that operational changes to CAF procedure include the call for commanders to use “common sense in command judgement,” to judge the need for travel not as a policy but on a per case basis. Non-essential travel will be curbed, and trips to countries where there is a Covid-19 outbreak would only be for reasons like rescuing stranded Canadians, as the military did for citizens stuck in China.

Vacations and vacations requests are being put on hold or cancelled, though reimbursements will be issued. Additionally, the CAF is acting to protect supply chains and to enact effective barriers to restrict movement. Large gatherings will also be reconsidered, since viral spread happens quickly within big groups.

As of writing, there are 33 confirmed coronavirus cases in Canada, though health officials remain cautiously optimistic in their assertion that exposure risk is relatively low. A new cabinet was assembled by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Wednesday in an attempt to curb and prevent the spread of Covid-19.

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