How can the Latvian Army help in the fight against Covid-19? / Article / LSM.lv

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            Many countries are using defense capabilities to fight the coronavirus epidemic. In France and the United States, military resources are being used to transport patients and provide them with treatment conditions, while the Swedish army has set up a field hospital in Stockholm. As Rus.Lsm.lv found out, the Latvian National Armed Forces (NAF) also has significant capabilities and, if such an order is received, they are ready to use them to solve civilian tasks.            </p><div>
            <p style="margin-left:0cm; margin-right:0cm">Military personnel are already assisting border guards, as well as 500 masks transferred from their reserves - to distribute to those returning to Latvia from abroad, Rus.Lsm.lv informed Emīls Dobrājs, Adviser to the Minister of Defense on Public Relations.

What is the Medical Service of the National Armed Forces? What do its specialists know and can’t do? Are they ready to receive civilians, and what needs to happen to start accepting civilians?

The medical staff of the National Armed Forces is professional, on that day and employs certified specialists of various medical professions. Medical service personnel of the professional service have military education and service experience both in Latvia and in international operations; for civilian employees – significant competence in work in civilian medical institutions.

Medical practitioners of the National Armed Forces are entitled to perform medical treatment in accordance with the competencies of the specialties in which they are certified.

Medical devices are in every medical institution of the National Armed Forces, in accordance with the declared medical activity of the institution, they are registered and technically inspected by the State Agency of Medicines. The National Armed Forces are ready to provide support to civilian institutions in accordance with the objectives of the National Disaster Medicine Plan. The NAF medical institutions operate within the framework of their tasks and defined capabilities. We have repeatedly informed about the readiness to provide support to other institutions, which we have already started to do, specifically by supporting the State Border Guard and also transferring resources to other institutions.

(E. Dobrājs did not answer the questions about the number of NAF medics and the number of available ambulances, indicating that these data are classified. He also did not indicate the location and specialization of NAF medical units, as well as the number of inpatient beds at their disposal. – Rus.Lsm. lv)

What does the National Disaster Medicine Plan say?

The aim of the disaster medical system in the context of the civil protection and national security system is to save lives in emergency medical and public health emergencies, as well as to reduce the devastating impact of emergencies on public health. The disaster medical system is an integral part of the national civil protection system and the national security system, and its planning is integrated into civil protection, national security and other plans.

The plan states: “NAF medical institutions operate within the framework of their tasks and defined capabilities, in accordance with the declared treatment. Medical practitioners of the National Armed Forces are entitled to perform medical treatment in accordance with the competencies of the specialties in which they are certified. ” Can it be concluded that medical institutions and doctors are ready to accept civilians if such a request comes from the Ministry of Health or another institution?

This cannot be ruled out, however, the primary function of the NAF is the military security and defense of the Latvian state.

How is the State Border Guard supported?

The National Armed Forces provide support to the State Border Guard in the control of the European Union’s internal borders, providing additional forces not only to the control of the external borders with Russia and Belarus, but also at the borders with Estonia and Lithuania. The Armed Forces assists the State Border Guard at the border with Estonia and Lithuania to issue and receive assurances from persons entering Latvia and traveling in transit that these persons will comply with special Covid-19 restriction measures during their stay in Latvia.

Is there cooperation between the Ministries of Defense and Health in the fight against the spread of Covid-19?

The Ministry of Defense and the National Armed Forces actively support the activities of all ministries upon objective request, while maintaining the combat capabilities of the National Armed Forces.

Are there medical points in the bases? How well are they equipped with masks and costumes? Are there and what quarantine measures are taking place in military units?

There are fixed National Armed Forces medical institutions in the locations of the National Armed Forces. The National Armed Forces have not stopped their activities for a moment and, as a result, the medical provision of the units is carried out on a continuous basis. Medical treatment institutions of the National Armed Forces comply with the mandatory requirements for medical treatment institutions set by the Republic of Latvia

The individual safety of a soldier is paramount – so that he can perform his duties and protect this country and every citizen of our country. Therefore, the National Armed Forces fully respect and comply with the guidelines, procedures and procedures of the Law on Epidemiological Safety, the Ministry of Health and the Center for Disease Prevention and Control, including self-isolation and medical surveillance.

“Medical treatment institutions of the National Armed Forces shall comply with the mandatory requirements for medical treatment institutions specified by the Republic of Latvia.” Can it be inferred from this that both medical institutions and doctors are equipped with masks and suits?

Yes, in addition, the National Armed Forces has already helped one of the hospitals with face masks, and 500 face masks were made available to airBaltic so that they can be distributed to anyone returning to Latvia from the countries most affected by the virus.

Are there special units in the NAF that are ready to deal with, for example, disinfection?

The National Armed Forces are composed of the Defense against Weapons of Mass Destruction (chemical, bacteriological and nuclear – Rus.Lsm.lv) a unit ready to perform its duties.

Can it be inferred from this that this unit is ready to take part, for example, in the disinfection of facilities if there is a request from the Ministry of Health or another authority?

If such a request from the VM follows, it would be evaluated.

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