Czech military delivers Coronavirus medical aid to north Macedonia pic 2 100420 CREDIT NATO.jpg
NATO

NATO To Discuss Sharing Capacity In Emergency Coronavirus Meeting

Defence ministers from the alliance will hold an video conference today, chaired by Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg.

Czech military delivers Coronavirus medical aid to north Macedonia pic 2 100420 CREDIT NATO.jpg

NATO defence ministers will hold an emergency video conference later to discuss the COVID-19 crisis.

Secretary General of the alliance, Jens Stoltenberg, says it is already helping member states to deal with the pandemic, but he wants to step up efforts. 

Mr Stoltenberg, who will chair the meeting, told reporters on Tuesday the meeting will address sharing capacity between nations, from medical kit to transporting capability.

It will also discuss fighting disinformation campaigns about the pandemic.

Recent military efforts have seen NATO Allies cooperating to airlift critical supplies to those in need, across the globe.

Twice in the last few days, a Turkish Air Force plane flying under a NATO call sign has delivered thousands of pieces of protective equipment for medical workers in the UK.

In the last few weeks, the Czech Republic has donated plane-fulls of protective equipment and gear to NATO nations, including Spain and Italy - acts of bilateral aid labelled "solidartiy in action" by the alliance.

The US, Hungary, the Netherlands, Norway and Slovenia have joined Turkey and the Czech Republic in delivering aid to NATO's newest member, North Macedonia.

Alongside medical resources, expertise and hospital space have also been shared.

Czech military delivers Coronavirus medical aid to north Macedonia pic 1 100420 CREDIT NATO.jpg
Members of the Czech military deliver medical aid to North Macedonia, NATO's newest member (Picture: NATO).

Standard military readiness will also be up for discussion - NATO responsible for the security of almost one billion citizens.

Ministers will address the issue of sustained military capability, aiming to keep up an operational presence as defence resources are pulled into the COVID-19 fight.

One threat posed is that of disinformation, Mr Stoltenberg addressing the harmful narrative spread by non-state actors during the pandemic.

The UK's Ministry of Defence has already sent a team to the Cabinet Office to help stop online misinformation being spread over the crisis.

The group, part of the COVID Support Force, will help to identify and tackle fake online news about the pandemic and will also try to halt the increasing number of fraudulent phishing scams.

Cover image: NATO.