France’s sole aircraft carrier has been incapacitated after more than 1000 of its crew have been found positive to the Coronavirus.
A nuclear-powered aircraft carrier, Charles de Gaulle is the flagship of the Marine Nationale, the French Navy. As of Friday, April 17, the French Ministry of Defence stated that 1081 out of the 2300 personnel on board the aircraft carrier have tested positive, which is slightly under 50 percent of total manpower. The afflicted sailors have been quarantined or hospitalized in military installations across France. One sailor is fighting for his life in intensive care.
When the outbreak happened, there were four American Sailors serving onboard the French Navy’s flagship as part of an exchange program. Two of them were tested positive for COVID-19 and are currently being treated in French medical facilities.
French officials are still trying to determine the origin of the first incidents. In the past few weeks, the sole aircraft carrier of the French Navy sailed and stopped in several places. At one point, the ship made a port call in the Atlantic port of Brest, France. It was also involved in a NATO exercise in the North Sea. Additionally, the aircraft carrier stopped by Cyprus while supporting anti-ISIS operations from the Eastern Mediterranean Sea. At some point during these operations and stops, journalists boarded the ship. And French officials are exploring if this might be indeed how the virus got onto the vessel.