Taiwan's military personnel banned from travel

Ministry of Defense determined military capabilities will not be weakened by Wuhan coronavirus

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MND issues travel ban for all military personnel in Taiwan. 

MND issues travel ban for all military personnel in Taiwan.  (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Taiwan's Ministry of Defense (MND) on Saturday (March 14) called on all military personnel not to travel abroad during the global coronavirus pandemic.

In an interview with CNA, MND Spokesman Shih Shun-wen (史順文) said the military has temporarily suspended all overseas travel for its members in order to maintain Taiwan's national security. He said the ban will also help prevent the virus from spreading.

Shih said the decision was taken following advice from Taiwan's Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) and coronavirus prevention should be treated like a battle. He added the MND has requested that military bases stop granting overseas travel leave and those soldiers who have already been granted permission postpone their trips.

Shih noted that service men and women who need to travel for emergency reasons will still be able to do so with special approval but will be placed under 14-day quarantine upon their return. He stressed that troops will continue to train and retain their combat capabilities to protect the country.

According to Now News, the MND in February advised service members to avoid 29 countries and regions with a high risk of contamination. However, the military was forced to upgrade its preventive measures after the number of infections skyrocketed in Europe and other Western countries.