COVID-19: UNIFIL; Del Col urges all contingents to help prevent virus spread

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NAQOURA, APRIL 1 – UNIFIL Head of Mission and Force Commander Major General Stefano Del Col visited all UNIFIL contingents over the past week to show the Mission’s appreciation for the work they are carrying out during this challenging period in the collective fight against COVID-19 Coronavirus as well as making sure that UNIFIL peacekeepers are taking all the precautionary measures and strictly following guidelines to prevent the spread of the virus.

In his address to the peacekeepers, Major General Del Col stressed the need to keep UNIFIL personnel and the host population free of the highly contagious virus.

“The unprecedented situation we all are facing today warrants exceptional measures, and your maximum cooperation and understanding are an essential prerequisite,” he said. “We are currently passing through trying times. This is not business-as-usual, and your willingness and steadfastness to adjust according to the unfolding situation is truly commendable.”

Since the beginning of the outbreak, UNIFIL has put in place all necessary precautionary measures in order to prevent the virus infection among the mission’s more than 11,000 military and civilian peacekeepers.

While UNIFIL peacekeepers continue to abide by pre-existing measures as well as the guidelines from the World Health Organization and the Government of Lebanon, the severity of the problem – compounded by the increase in the number of confirmed cases in Lebanon and many other countries – prompted the Mission to take additional measures.

Some of such measures include implementing social distancing and “work from home” modality, taking temperature of everyone entering UNIFIL bases, putting in quarantine those coming back from leave or for the past rotations.

“We will continue to provide you with timely updates, guidelines and potential additional measures aimed at preventing the spread of the virus,” said Major General Del Col. “It’s very important to note that this is not the time to panic; this is the time to be more vigilant and abide by all the precautionary measures put in place by the mission and strictly follow guidelines.” (@OnuItalia)