PRISTINA - In response to the global pandemic of Corona virus the NATO-led Kosovo Force is continuing on a regular basis its UN-mandated mission to provide a safe and secure environment and freedom of movement for all communities in Kosovo, whilst taking all necessary precautions to protect its soldiers, partners and the population of Kosovo.
In the last weeks, KFOR units have performed patrols, liaison and monitoring activities and supported local institutions and communities, through the donation of personal protective equipment and the delivery of food and clothes to families in need, in coordination with the Red Cross in Kosovo. As first responder, KFOR is providing protection to the Monastery of Visoki-Decani, a major Orthodox religious and cultural site.
Radio K4 is broadcasting every day in both Albanian and Serbian language information on how to respond to the pandemic and prevent the spread of the virus.
KFOR remains vigilant and continues to monitor and assess the situation in close coordination with the Institutions in Kosovo and the Ministry of Health in particular, as well as with the Security Organizations and the International Community.
“KFOR’s ability to conduct operations to contribute to the safety and security of all communities in Kosovo has not been undermined. We remain absolutely committed to maintaining our credible deterrence and defence, whilst helping to limit the virus’ spread. Our Forces remain ready, and our crucial work goes on, under the mandate provided by the United Nations Security Council Resolution 1244 of 1999,” stated Major General Michele Risi, the Commander of KFOR.
In terms of prevention, since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, KFOR has implemented prudent measures based on the recommendations of the World Health Organization, in order to mitigate risks for its personnel and for all communities of Kosovo.
Such measures apply in all KFOR bases and facilities and include stringent hygiene measures, screening and checks of all military personnel deployed in theatre, temporary limitations on non-essential activities. Local Kosovo contractors showing signs or having a history of being exposed are not allowed on the bases.
As in the rest of society, some of our personnel have tested positive, and sadly two civilian workers lost their lives. Any KFOR soldier that shows signs of being infected by COVID-19 or has had contact with someone infected is placed in precautionary quarantine. If KFOR soldiers become infected, they are treated by medical facilities on KFOR bases and placed into quarantine in order to reduce additional exposure, before being evacuated.