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French carrier Charles De Gaulle heading home amid suspicion of coronavirus

Christian Fernsby |
The French Navy (Marine Nationale) aircraft carrier and flag ship Charles de Gaulle is heading home early following suspicion of several Covid-19 cases among its crew members.

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About forty sailors may be infected with Covid-19, according to a French Ministry of the Armed Forces press release issued this morning: "On board the aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle currently deployed in the Atlantic as part of the mission Foch, around forty sailors are today under close medical observation. They are showing symptoms consistent with possible Covid-19 infection. These first symptoms have appeared recently."

The aircraft carrier, currently deployed on “Mission Foch” since January, is sailing in the Atlantic Ocean and was already on its way back to the Mediterranean. Charles de Gaulle‘s home port is Toulon Naval Base in Southern France.

The French Navy decided to anticipate the return of the aircraft carrier to Toulon, originally scheduled for April 23. A screening team with test equipment will be dispatched to the aircraft carrier today. They will investigate the cases and prevent the spread of the virus on board the ship.

Sailors showing the symptoms are placed in isolated confinement, as a precaution vis-à-vis the rest of the crew. No worsening was seen in these patients. Everything is currently being done to ensure the safety of crew members.

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