British base in Africa was plunged into total lock down last night amid fears a plane load of infected troops had brought the new UK Covid-19 strain to Kenya.
Hundreds of local staff, including the garrison’s chefs, were barred from entering the base to reduce the risk of transmission into the local community.
Troops were forced to eat out of date rations after Colonel Paul Gilby, the garrison commander, ordered 48 hours of “enhanced isolation”.
Around 160 troops were kicked out of the barracks and forced to camp under tarpaulins in a bid to make the buildings less crowded.
The outbreak at the British Army Training Unit Kenya, known as BATUK, comes days after the Defence Secretary Ben Wallace and the British High Commissioner Jane Mariott visited the camp in a bid to reassure local officials that it was safe to restart training.
At least four soldiers have tested positive since they arrived last week.
An Army source insisted there was almost no risk of infecting local Kenyans.
“The troops arrived on an RAF flight to Nairobi, they used a bespoke arrivals facility and were bussed directly to the camp,” he said.
An Army spokesperson said:“A very small number of British soldiers on exercise in Kenya have tested positive for Covid-19.
“The camp at BATUK has been placed into enhanced isolation in line with the Ministry of Defence’s Force Health Protection (FHP) measures.
“The British Army takes the health and wellbeing of our personnel and the local communities in Kenya very seriously.
“Covid-19 testing, social distancing and hygiene measures are in place to protect all local people and military personnel and to prevent further infections.”