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Troops await word on quarantine location upon return from Ukraine

This undated electron microscope image made available by the U.S. National Institutes of Health in February 2020 shows the Novel Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2. Also known as 2019-nCoV, the virus causes COVID-19. Canadian researchers are making multiple breakthroughs in the fight against COVID-19, as a biotech firm take the firsts steps towards a vaccine and a hospital in Ottawa opened a drive-thru screening centre. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP, NIAID-RML

OTTAWA — Canadian troops returning from Ukraine this month have not been told whether they will allowed to quarantine at home or be forced to spend the two weeks somewhere else.

The 200 troops first deployed to Ukraine in October for a six-month mission training local forces to fight Russian-backed separatist forces in the east of the country.

Military commanders were initially unsure last month whether to proceed with a plan to withdraw the troops and replace them with another force due to concerns about COVID-19.

A decision was made to proceed with the withdrawal and send a smaller skeleton force to hold the fort until the pandemic passes.

While the returning troops will be required to spend 14 days in isolation, Defence Department spokesman Daniel Le Bouthillier says commanders have not decided where they will spend that time.

Le Bouthillier says military officials are looking at different options and consulting health-care professionals to determine what is best for the soldiers and their families.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 1, 2020.

The Canadian Press

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