“We are learning more every day in a rapidly developing set of circumstances, where we do not know exactly where we will be next week,” said Major General Reinhard Trischak, Commander of EUFOR, on 7 April 2020 at Camp Butmir.

Guards in masks at the entrance to Camp Butmir

Guards in masks at the entrance to Camp Butmir

“This is a situation where military training and skills come to the forefront. Being faced with an unfamiliar situation, adapting to it and overcoming adversity is something we have all trained for. We are all putting this into practice as we face COVID-19 together.”

The global situation regarding the COVID-19 virus continues to evolve rapidly. The medical community’s understanding of the virus also advances at pace and, consequently, so does the guidance issued by World Health Organisation.

Procedures and policies change and evolve to fit the situation; EUFOR and Camp Butmir has also moved forward, adapting to the situation. EUFOR Headquarters staff have been working hard to put in place the right measures, and reasonable measures, to cover a range of issues including isolation and quarantine.

On 3 April 2020, in Aida Pilav, Head of the Sarajevo Canton Ministry of Health Crisis Staff, stated in a press conference that EUFOR is in continued contact with health services in Sarajevo. She said: “…their healthcare service has made adequate isolation and self-isolation measures.”

Wearing face masks when performing duties outside, phone and video conferences instead of face-to-face meetings, frequent workspace disinfection, working from home for many of the BiH civilian staff and closure of cafes and welfare facilities on the base are just some of the measures employed. All this contributes to reduce movement of people and the potential exposure to and spread of the virus.

The most recent measure introduced involves the use of temperature sensors at the main gate of Camp Butmir. These temperature sensors allow guards to identify if someone wishing to enter the base has an elevated temperature, which can be a symptom of infection.

Major General Trischak said:

“I believe that we are in a strong position now at Camp Butmir and we will continue to adapt together as the situation dictates. I thank everyone for their continued dedication and support.”

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