05:59 GMT21 January 2021
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    2020 Coronavirus Outbreak (495)
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    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - Norway cancelled the remainder of the ten-nation Cold Response military exercise to protect service members from potential exposure to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), the US European Command (EUCOM) said in a press release on Wednesday.

    "The decision is a precautionary measure in response to the ongoing outbreak of COVID-19 and to protect the health and safety of all participants and the local population. The health of our force continues to be a top priority and we are committed to maintaining mission readiness," the release said.

    The exercise, originally scheduled for March 9-18 was taking place in the far north of Norway’s Arctic region and included 15,000 service members from ten nations.

    On a global scale, there are almost 120,000 confirmed cases of the coronavirus, with nearly 81,000 in mainland China, followed by Italy with 10,149 and Iran with 8,042. The total number of global deaths reached 4,284 as of Wednesday, and over 65,000 recoveries have been reported.

    Topic:
    2020 Coronavirus Outbreak (495)
    Tags:
    Cold Response, US European Command (EUCOM), coronavirus, COVID-19, Norway
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