NATO is to stockpile medical equipment to prepare for a possible second wave of the coronavirus pandemic, its chief announced Tuesday.
The 30-nation alliance is drawing up plans to be be ready if the virus returns strongly, said NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg.
Some countries struggled to get basic equipment such as surgical masks when the pandemic first swept across the world.
Defence ministers are expected to sign off this week on a new operational plan to manage the response to any second wave.
This includes building up supplies of personal protective equipment and other resources so they can be distributed quickly in case of need.
A special multi-million euro fund will also be created to buy medical supplies and pay for the transport of medics and patients where needed.
The measures “will ensure that we can strengthen our response to a possible second wave of the pandemic, so that critical assistance gets to the right place at the right time”, said Stoltenberg.
Stoltenberg said the alliance had already helped its members and partner countries with their coronavirus response, with some 350 flights airlifting crucial equipment.