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French Defence Minister Acknowledges 'Mistakes' in Handling of Coronavirus Outbreak on Carrier

File photo of French aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle.

File photo of French aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle.

Defence Minister Florence Parly told French lawmakers on Monday that one sailor from the Charles de Gaulle remains hospitalised. Others have recovered.

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French defence minister Florence Parly has acknowledged "mistakes" that led about two-thirds of troops aboard an aircraft carrier to be infected with the coronavirus.

Parly told French lawmakers on Monday that one sailor from the Charles de Gaulle remains hospitalised. Others have recovered. The number of positive cases reached a total 1,046 out of 1,760 sailors onboard the aircraft carrier.

The investigation shows that the virus first infected people after February 26, while the carrier was at sea, Parly said. The virus was then introduced again onboard during a stop in the French port of Brest in mid-March, as the country was about to enter into lockdown.

Parly said the commandment established precautionary measures, like increasing physical distance between sailors, but they were lifted at the end of March because of concerns of the low morale of the troops.

She said the virus was not detected onboard before April 5.


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