It should be noted that the outbreak of infections among personnel of the National Army appeared shortly after the Head of State on June 13 signed a decree on the use of the Army during the public health emergency. In an analytical note that is quoted by IPN, experts of the Association for Participatory Democracy (ADEPT) wonder why had the National Army to become involved in an operation that is not typical of it and if this involvement is not the cause of the outbreak of infections among soldiers of the Motorized Infantry Brigade “Moldova”?
The Ministry of Defense said that 65 infections with the novel coronavirus were recorded in the National Army during the pandemic so far and 18 of the infected service members and civilian employees have been already cured and discharged from the hospital. Forty-two persons continue to stay in the Central Military Clinical Hospital and civil health facilities, while five employees with mild form of the disease receive treatment at home. Twenty of those infected are members of the Motorized Infantry Brigade “Moldova”. The minister of defense paid an emergency visit to the garrison in Bălți. On June 18, given the epidemiological situation in the National Army, Minister Pînzari went to the Military Clinical Hospital to inquire about the state of health of those who were treated there and to see the working conditions of the medical staff.
The experts of ADEPT note that the outbreak among personnel of the National Army appeared shortly after the Head of State on June 13 signed the decree on the use of the National Army during the public health emergency. Under the decree, the Army will provide the necessary assistance to the public order authorities in supervising the observance by private individuals of the measures to prevent and control the spread of COVID-19, in accordance with the decisions taken by the National Extraordinary Commission for Public Health.
The reason for signing the presidential decree was the epidemiological situation in Moldova caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The provisions of the Constitution, the Law on National Defense, the decision by the National Extraordinary Commission for Public Health and the approaches made by the chairman of the Commission, who invoked the extreme situation in public health, served as a reason for the involvement of the National Army.
According to the note, several things remain unclear yet. Under the presidential decree, the National Army’s assistance was asked for by the chairman of the National Extraordinary Commission for Public Health and this assistance is offered to the public order authorities in supervising the observance by private individuals of the measures to prevent and control the spread of COVID-19. Firstly, under the Contravention Code, the army’s representatives do not have the status of ascertaining agents. In the fight against COVID-19, such a status is enjoyed by the police and the National Public Health Agency. Secondly, the Ministry of Home Affairs during the state of emergency used about 9,000 police officers to supervise the observance of the measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and there were no complaints from the Ministry as to the shortage of staff for coping with the challenges.
The analytical note was compiled with support from the Good Governance Department of Soros Foundation Moldova.