France’s sole aircraft carrier ‘Charles de Gaulle’ had to suspend its Mediterranean Sea mission and turn back to port shortly after around 40 of its crewmembers were placed under medical observation with suspected Covid-19.
All symptomatic sailors have been “isolated” from the rest of the crew and are being constantly monitored by medical staff, the Defense Ministry said on Wednesday.
They have symptoms consistent with a possible Covid-19 infection. These first symptoms have appeared recently.
The illness struck the crew when the nuclear-powered ship was making its way to the Mediterranean Sea to participate in France’s Operation Chammal, directed against Islamist militants in the Middle East.
Now, it will return to the southern French port of Toulon, where it had originally planned to dock on April 23.
Last month, the US Navy had to isolate more than 4,000 personnel on board the aircraft carrier ‘USS Theodore Roosevelt’ off Guam, after around 100 of its crew had tested positive for Covid-19.