Coronavirus panic on French warship as dozens of sailors come down with killer bug during joint exercise with Brit Navy – The Sun

CORONAVIRUS panic has broken out on a French warship after dozens of sailors came down with the killer bug after a joint exercise with Royal Navy.

The nuclear-powered Charles de Gaulle aircraft carrier, one of the largest warships in the world, is thought to have at least 40 cases of the virus among her complement of around 2,000.

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She was steaming back to her home port of Toulon, in the south of France, on Wednesday morning as a screening team prepared to board.

A French Armed Forces Ministry spokesman said: “Around 40 sailors are today under close medical observation.

“They are showing symptoms consistent with possible Covid-19 infection. These first symptoms have appeared recently.”

At the end of last month the Charles de Gaulle was the flagship for Nato Maritime Group One as it took part in a training exercise off the east coast of Denmark.

The force included the Royal Navy Type 23 frigate HMS Sutherland, which has a complement of 185.

SEABORNE PANDEMIC

A case of coronavirus has also been reported on the Belgian frigate Léopold 1, which was escorting the Charles de Gaulle.

The Charles de Gaulle is currently in the Atlantic, and heading back to Toulon as quickly as possible.

She has a medical platform on board equipped with a resuscitation unit, and everything is being done to keep those who are thought to be infected away from their comrades.

Sailors displaying symptoms of coronavirus are all being placed in solitary confinement.

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Beyond sailors and commandoes, the Charles de Gaulle has an air wing of 600 pilots and support crew.

The Charles de Gaulle, which carries aircraft including Rafale M fighters and AS532 Cougar helicopters, was launched in 1994.

She was the only nuclear-powered aircraft carrier built outside of the United States Navy.


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