Daily Star reported that the crew of a Chinese People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) Changzhou (549) Type 054A frigate has been placed in quarantine over coronavirus fears. The report also said that the PLA chiefs have admitted the captain of the frigate, Yu Song Qiu, and a number of sailors of have been placed on lockdown. The ship’s captain reportedly returned to the base to be quarantined on January 29 after cutting short his leave. He is reportedly now training up his crew during the quarantine so they remain “battle ready”. PLA news outlets are reporting “portions of troops” are being quarantined from “various forces” – including Changzhou.
Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is an infectious disease caused by SARS-CoV-2, a virus closely related to the SARS virus. The disease is the cause of the 2019–20 coronavirus outbreak. It is primarily spread between people via respiratory droplets from infected individuals when they cough or sneeze. Time from exposure to onset of symptoms is generally between 2 and 14 days. Spread can be limited by handwashing and other hygiene measures. People may have few symptoms or develop fever, cough, and shortness of breath Cases can progress to pneumonia and multi-organ failure. (COVID-19) has caused more than 2,200 deaths in mainland China with more than 75,000 confirmed infections reported.
The Type 054A (NATO codename: Jiangkai II) frigate is a class of Chinese multi-role frigates, the first of which entered service with the PLA Navy Surface Force in 2007. The Type 054A carries HQ-16 medium-range air defence missiles and anti-submarine missiles in a vertical launching system (VLS) system. The four AK-630 close-in weapon systems (CIWS) of the Type 054 were replaced with two Type 730 CIWS on the Type 054A. The autonomous Type 730 provides improved reaction time against close-in threats. According to an estimate by The Diplomat, Type 054A frigates have a per-unit cost of US$348 million.