EDF commander: COVID-19 cases arising from military exercise unfortunate

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EDF 2nd Infantry Brigade shoulder flash. Source: Ardi Hallismaa

Commander of the Estonian Defense Forces (EDF) Major General Martin Herem has called a decision to hold a recent field exercise which involved civilians, as well as military personnel, an unfortunate move, after four people developed coronavirus.

"In retrospect, this must be considered unfortunate," Maj. Gen. Herem said, adding that all those who took part in the event will be tested for COVID-19.

Three of those who tested positive are civilian ambulance staff, it is reported.

The exercise took place on December 21, involving around 45 people, soldiers from the EDF's 2nd Infantry Brigade as well as three civilian support personnel.

The EDF has provided the Health Board (Terviseamet) a full list of those who participated, ERR's online news in Estonian reports.

The exercise involved a hike – whether and how much weight was carried has not been reported – and a short gathering inside a semi-enclosed shelter, the EDF says, during which all coronavirus requirements were adhered to.

The three civilian personnel were Võru ambulance few members, it is reported, and they are in fact three of the four people who have so far tested positive for COVID-19.

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Editor: Andrew Whyte

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