US Army Maj. Gen. Michael D. Turello, the commander of the Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa, declared a public health emergency (PHE) for all US personnel under his authority at Camp Lemonnier Djibouti and Chabelley Airfield; also including any American personnel working at the Port of Djibouti.
"Combating COVID-19 is my top priority. By declaring a public health emergency, it keeps our forces, and those of our host national partner, as healthy and safe as possible", Turello said in a statement.
JUST IN: US commander of Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa declared a public health emergency for all U.S. personnel under his authority at Camp Lemonnier Djibouti, Chabelley Airfield & any American personnel working at the Port of Djibouti. pic.twitter.com/9KYN0EOiFg— W.J. Hennigan (@wjhenn) April 23, 2020
The PHE will be initially be in effect for 30 days, and its implementation will "ensure preventive measure compliance for non-uniformed populations to include DoD civilians and contractors". It will also allow to re-purpose any facility within the Djibouti Base Cluster installation to respond to the COVID-19 outbreak.
"This preventive measure factors in our mission responsibilities as well as the health of our force and Djiboutian partners. We are doing our part to contain the virus and minimise the impact. This is how we work in the current environment", Turello said.
There are currently 986 confirmed coronavirus cases in Djibouti with 2 fatalities, according to data provided by the Johns Hopkins University Resource Centre.
Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa (CJTF-HOA) is a US semi-permanent operational headquarters established in 2002 with a stated goal of "countering violent extremist organizations in East Africa".