Twenty sailors remain in hospital after French navy coronavirus outbreak

PARIS (Reuters) – Around 20 French sailors remain in hospital following a large outbreak of the coronavirus in the French aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle’s naval group, a spokesman for the French navy said on Thursday.

“There are about 20 at the moment in hospital. Out of the 20, one is in the re-animation ward and in a stable case,” spokesman Eric Lavault told RMC radio.

On Wednesday, the French armed forces ministry said 1,767 marines – nearly all from the Charles de Gaulle carrier itself – had been evaluated and at least 668 had tested positive for the virus.

The Charles de Gaulle set sail for the eastern Mediterranean on Jan. 21 to support French military operations against Islamist militants in Iraq and Syria, before deploying to the Atlantic and then the Baltic.

There it participated in exercises with northern European navies in the Baltic Sea before returning to Toulon two weeks earlier than planned after crew members showed signs of COVID-19 symptoms.

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