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Wednesday, 12 August 2020

Over a thousand virus cases on French ship

AP , Sunday 19 Apr 2020
France Ship
shows emergency vehicles and people wearing personal protective equipment in front of the French aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle as it arrives in the southern French port of Toulon with sailors onboard infected with COVID-19 (novel coronavirus). - Fifty sailors aboard the Charles de Gaulle aircraft carrier, the flagship of the French navy, have contracted the novel coronavirus the armed forces ministry said on April 11. The nuclear-powered ship arrived in Toulon on April 12 so that those infected can begin a period of quarantine on dry land, according to the ministry (Photo: AFP)
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Figures from France's military leadership show more than half the sailors aboard the country's flagship aircraft carrier contracted the new virus as the ship traveled through the Mediterranean Sea, the North Sea and the Atlantic Ocean.

A navy official says 1,046 of the 1,760 people aboard the Charles de Gaulle tested positive for the virus.

Navy Chief of Staff Adm. Christophe Prazuck attributed the quick spread to the ``great population density aboard the ship.''

Speaking Saturday evening to Europe-1 radio, Prazuck said virus protection measures weren't followed properly, which ``did not allow us to detect the beginning of the epidemic, and therefore to contain it.''

The ship is undergoing a lengthy disinfection process since returning to its home base in Toulon last week.

One person who served aboard is in intensive care and more than 20 others are hospitalized. Among those infected are two U.S. sailors serving as part of an exchange program.

Investigations are underway into what happened, and French military leaders have been questioned in parliament.

A similar outbreak on the USS Theodore Roosevelt led to the firing of its captain and the resignation of the acting U.S. Navy secretary.

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