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PARIS -- The French navy is investigating how the coronavirus infected more than 1, sailors aboard the aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle, amid growing pressure on government leaders to explain how it could have happened. The ship, France's biggest carrier and the flagship of its navy, is undergoing a lengthy disinfection process since returning to its home base in Toulon five days ago.
One person remains in intensive care and some 20 others hospitalized, navy spokesman Cmdr. Eric Lavault told The Associated Press.
France finds more than 1, virus cases on aircraft carrier
Two of four U. Navy statement. Lavault insisted that the escort carrier's commander sought to increase the physical distance among the crew on the vessel, where there was no testing gaulle and for most of its three months on operations, no masks. A combat ship, especially an aircraft carrier, is nothing without its crew. A similar outbreak on the USS Theodore Roosevelt and a dispute about how the at-sea health crisis was handled led to the firing of its captain and the reation this month of the acting U.
Navy secretary. The French navy has been spared charles controversy so far, but the defense minister and the head of the French military's health service arm were questioned Friday about the infections at parliamentary hearings.
Over french aircraft carrier crew infected with coronavirus
Defense Minister Florence Parly told lawmakers that 1, of the 2, people aboard the Charles de Gaulle and its escort vessels have tested positive so far — nearly half the overall personnel. An investigation to retrace the paths of the personnel is in progress. So far, crew members have been grilled about their movements on and off the vessel, according to Lavault.
The defense minister defended the decision to allow the ship to stop in Brest in mid-March, even though France had already ordered all schools closed to fight the virus and the government was preparing confinement measures. Hours after the ship left, President Emmanuel Macron announced a nationwide lockdown, among the strictest in Europe.
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With nearly 2, sailors on the aircraft carrier alone, there is a constant flow of people frequenting the infirmary. In the North Sea, temperatures sometimes dropped to -5 degrees Celsius 23 Fhe said.
Lavault said the carrier was being cleaned top to bottom, first with high-pressure water at 60 C Fthen with an anti-viral product, a process that could take weeks. He said the goal is to get the carrier back to sea sometime in May. France has been among the countries hardest hit by the virus, with more than 18, deaths confirmed as of Friday and more thanreported cases.
As France he into a second month of confinement, the head of the national health agency said Friday that the country is seeing "a slow but regular decline" in the virus, with the of hospitalizations and people in intensive care continuing to drop. Shows Good Morning America.
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