The kitchen has been closed while the camp in Kenya is deep cleaned and some soldiers are sleeping in tents while they isolate
Soldiers within a British military base in Kenya are currently being fed rations after they had been placed in “enhanced isolation” following an outbreak of COVID-19.
Four people so far have tested positive for the coronavirus in Nanyuki, with 320 military personnel having been put under isolation restrictions in order to limit their contact and prevent the spread of the virus.
This includes some of the soldiers being required to sleep within tents or “bashering up”, an official British Army spokesperson has said.
They had said that as part of the enhanced isolation Locally Employed Civilians (LECs) who work within the ‘high transit areas’, such as the kitchen or the gym, have now been asked to not come into work in order to protect local communities in the region.
This comes after more COVID-19 “mutations of concern” have been found in Bristol and Liverpool, the health secretary has announced. Matt Hancock said 11 cases were identified in Bristol and 32 in Liverpool, so the government will extend the door-to-door testing currently underway in eight postcodes where the South African COVID-19 variant has been spread by community transmission.
The spokesperson said: “High transit areas are being deep cleaned and soldiers will be fed on rations in the meantime.”
They continued: “The BATUK (British Army Training Unit Kenya) camp has been placed into enhanced isolation after a very small number of soldiers tested positive for COVID-19.
“All soldiers deploying on exercise had to conduct a period of isolation and test negative prior to travelling to Kenya.
“The British Army takes the health and wellbeing of personnel and the local community in Kenya very seriously. The Ministry of Defence’s Force Health Protection measures are being applied to prevent further infections.”
BATUK’s Facebook page had said that 2nd Battalion, the Mercian Regiment are currently taking part in Exercise Askari Storm at the unit.
Ben Wallace, the UK’s Defence Secretary, had travelled to Kenya to open the new Nyati Barracks in Nanyuki last month.
The British Army is following a number of procedures in order to prevent the spread of the coronavirus during its deployments.
Soldiers must isolate within barracks before they leave the UK and will require a negative COVID-19 test is 92 hours prior to their deployment.
Upon arrival in Kenya, the soldiers are first transferred directly to the barracks and will remain in their “flight households” for a mandatory six-day controlled isolation and acclimatisation period.
During this time they are asked about any symptoms that they may have daily and will have their temperature taken three times a day. Anyone with symptoms of the coronavirus must isolate and take a PCR test.
This comes after, North Korea, which is yet to have recorded a single case of the coronavirus, is expected to be receiving nearly two million doses of the Oxford/AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine. According to the vaccine-sharing programme, known as COVAX, the Asian nation has been allocated 1,992,000 doses of the vaccine for the first half of 2021.
The Army’s website says: “BATUK is a permanent training support unit based mainly in Nanyuki, 200km north of Nairobi, but with a small element in Nairobi.
“BATUK provides demanding training to exercising units preparing to deploy on operations or assume high-readiness tasks. BATUK consists of around 100 permanent staff and reinforcing short tour cohort of another 280 personnel.”