As the coronavirus continues its deadly expansion around the globe, the military is taking action to take care of the people returning to the United States. The Pentagon announced on Saturday that it is preparing military installations to — if necessary — quarantine up to 1,000 people returning to the U.S. from overseas in order to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus that originated in Wuhan, China.
The Pentagon said that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is responsible for everything but housing, including all transportation, care, and security of the evacuees. Additionally, it is essential to note that DoD personnel will not be directly in contact with the evacuees. Moreover, evacuees will not have access to any base location other than their assigned housing.
On Sunday, the Pentagon announced that Secretary of Defense Dr. Mark T. Esper approved a request for assistance from the HHS to house those 1,000 people who need to be quarantined once arriving from overseas travel. Where these locations will exactly have yet to be released.
A country that has an excellent protocol in place to handle just such a spread, and is doing well at it thus far, is Japan. They employ travel bans, quarantine, and monitoring of suspected persons. One SOF soldier on the island stated, “business as usual.” However, military leaders are closely monitoring the situation. Leaders, not just in the military, stress the need for people across the country to have access to necessary medical examinations. This includes supplies, including masks, as infections have been confirmed in various parts of the country.