Charles de Gaulle has robust medical facilities with a dedicated containment room, as well as an infirmary with a dozen beds. A medical team of 20 people, including doctors, surgeons and nurses, equips these facilities on board the ship. Fortunately, sailors who have been able to contract COVID-19 so far have had mild symptoms.
Other sailors in the carrier clean the common areas twice a day and the size and frequency of formal meetings have been reduced. Limits have also been set on the number of seafarers to be collected simultaneously in certain spaces. As the War zone
warships, where hundreds, if not thousands, of staff members work and live in very close quarters last month, offer potentially disturbing breeding ground for COVID-19, which has proven to be easily transmissible, general.
We don’t know where Charles de Gaulle‘screw may have been exposed to the virus first. However, on March 25, the Belgian Ministry of Defense revealed that at least one sailor of his Karel Doorman class frigate Leopold I tested positive for COVID-19. the Leopold I, who is now back in her home port of Zeebrugge, had been sailing for some time as part of Charles de GaulleThe carrier strike group and its crew met with their French counterparts. It is also possible that the Belgian sailor contracted the virus from a member of the crew of the French carrier. At the time of writing, France has more than 82,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and has seen more than 10,000 people die from the virus or complications.
Either way, the USS experience Theodore Roosevelt shows how serious the danger COVID-19 poses to navies and military forces in general around the world is serious. There are at least 173 confirmed cases among the crew of Roosevelt, who arrived in Guam on March 26 after a small number of seafarers tested positive for the virus and is now present indefinitely. The captain of the ship, Captain Brett Crozier, sent a letter a few days later asking most of the sailors to leave the aircraft carrier and stay ashore to prevent the spread of the virus and the risk of death. Acting Secretary of the Navy, Thomas Modly, later relieved Crozier of his command, apparently for a procedural problem, setting off a political storm that Modly had ignited by delivering a widely criticized speech on the carrier defending his actions. Modly resigned yesterday.
April 7, Politico first reported that a sailor assigned to the USS Nimitz had been tested positive, raising new concerns regarding the spread of the virus within the Navy and its impact on the service’s ability to project energy in response to other crises that may arise. Nimitz, which has its home base in Bremerton, Washington, is working on its own deployment.
Sailors assigned to the Nimitz USS class carriers Carl Vinson and USS Ronald Reagan, which are undergoing maintenance in Washington State and Japan, respectively, have also tested positive for COVID-19. Of the carriers based on the West Coast of the Navy, only the USS Abraham Lincoln, who returned to her home port in San Diego, California in January after a record deployment to the Middle East, has no crewmembers with the virus. The removal of Theodore Roosevelt had previously forced the service to move one of the other two carriers it was driving in the Middle East to the Pacific region.
Other Navy ships, including the USNS hospital ship Comfort, who is in New York to assist with COVID-19 response efforts, has reported cases among their crews. It is clear that the Navy, as well as other branches of the United States military, are struggling to prepare for the unexpected by taking the necessary steps to limit the risk of potential virus outbreaks among their personnel.
The U.S. Navy is clearly not alone in this fight, with reported cases of COVID-19 emerging on Russian and Dutch submarines last month, in addition to potential cases in France. Charles de Gaulle and the confirmed case among the Belgian crew Leopold I. It is still a disturbing trend and the virus continues to pose an increasingly serious threat to naval operations and general military preparedness around the world.
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