The advent of the covid-19 pandemic came with its own challenges that initially affected the routine operations of the MNJTF. However, the force was able to respond by adopting guidelines and a strategy for dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Medical cell of the MNJTF conducted a series of awareness lectures that served to educate staff officers at the Headquarters and at the various sectors about the disease, its modes of transmission and the preventive measures. As more information became known about the disease, this was provided at the weekly medical briefs.
Some non-medical measures were taken to forestall the spread of the disease at the height of the pandemic. These included suspension of leaves and passes. Additionally, rotation of staff officers were suspended as well.
- Medical measures taken to forestall the spread of COVID-19 included provision of non-contact laser thermometers at the office area and residence to take temperature of all personnel and visitors on a daily basis. Also, hand-washing facilities were provided at strategic places. The use of facemasks was made mandatory at the office area.
- Other measures taken were to encourage remote working by staff officers, many meetings and conferences were held by zoom. Also, social distancing was practiced at in-person meetings which were kept to the barest minimum.
- The Force Commander as well as the AU/MST provided medicines, personal protective equipment that consisted of MNJTF branded cloth-masks, surgical facemasks, N-95 respirators, face-shields, surgical gowns and latex hand-gloves. Additionally, materials for hand and surface disinfection were provided. These included hand sanitizers, house-hold bleach and purit disinfectants.
- So far during the course of the pandemic, seven members of Staff including 6 MSOs and staff of AU-MST have tested positive to the disease. Six were mostly asymptomatic and recovered after treatment. However, unfortunately, one Military Staff Officer (MSO) died as a result of COVID-19 (This was the index case in the MNJTF and he died before the confirmation of his positive status).