At least fifty crew members of the French Navy’s sole aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle have tested positive for the coronavirus, news reports said.
While three personnel were evacuated from the ship, the French navy has pushed for a slew of measures to contain the virus on the ship. This includes a “lockdown” of parts of the aircraft carrier where the infections were found.
A testing team was sent on board a few days ago after some members of the crew showed signs of infection. News reports said that there were no signs of deterioration among the infected on board and that the evacuation of three sailors was done for precautionary reasons.
Further, the carrier also boasts of its own onboard medical facilities for its crew of 1760. The aircraft carrier is now returning to Toulon, its home base, where it will dock in the next few days. It had been recently participating in exercises in the Baltic sea.
The carrier has onboard more than 30 Rafale aircraft in addition to surveillance aircraft and helicopters.
News of coronavirus infections aboard Charles de Gaulle comes just a few days after some crew of United States Navy aircraft carrier, the USS Theodore Roosevelt, were found to be infected with the coronavirus.
The infections aboard the USS Theodore Roosevelt led to the captain of the ship Capt Brett Crozier writing to his chain of command over an un-classified channel about the lack of sufficient measures to control the outbreak. Capt Crozier was swiftly taken off command of the ship by the US Navy for breach of protocol and rules.
The then US Navy secretary who addressed the crew of the ship also had to resign, likely on US President Donald Trump’s disowning of the secretary’s handling of the situation.
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