Pentagon to extend US troops movement freeze to June 30

Washington, April 19 (IANS) The US Department of Defence has extended its freeze order on the movement of US troops through June 30 due to the COVID-19 outbreak, a Pentagon official announced.

Undersecretary of Defence for Personnel and Readiness Matthew Donovan said in a briefing on Saturday that the new order, which comes into force on Monday, would include eased restrictions and more exemptions allowed compared to the previous order, Xinhua reported.

Donovan said the latest extension order is “a necessary measure to keep our people safe and our military ready,” adding that Defence Secretary Mark Esper would review the policy every 15 days.

Last month, Esper issued an order to stop movements of overseas US forces for up to 60 days to curb the spread of the coronavirus in the military.

The Department of Defence reported nearly 3,000 COVID-19 cases among US services members as of 5 a.m. on April 17.



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