Aboard the French Navy (Marine Nationale) aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle currently deployed in the Atlantic as part of the “Foch Mission,” approximately 40 sailors are today under enhanced medical observation. They have symptoms consistent with a possible Covid-19 infection. These first symptoms have appeared recently. The aircraft carrier has a medical component including an intensive care unit. The health measures already implemented on board have been reinforced. The French Navy and the aircraft carrier command are closely monitoring the progress of the sailors’ health.
Screening team with medical tests will be dispatched to the aircraft carrier to investigate current cases and to prevent the spread of the virus aboard the ship. After a mission which started on January 21, 2020 and initially committed to support Operation Chammal, the aircraft carrier was returning to the Mediterranean. It was decided to immediately bring her back to Toulon, which was initially scheduled for April 23. Sailors with symptoms are currently being taken care of and are subject to enhanced medical monitoring. They were placed in isolated confinement, as a precaution vis-à-vis the rest of the crew.
French aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle is the tenth French aircraft carrier, the first French nuclear-powered surface vessel, and the only nuclear-powered carrier completed outside of the United States Navy. She is named after French statesman and general Charles de Gaulle. The ship carries a complement of Dassault Rafale M and E‑2C Hawkeye aircraft, EC725 Caracal and AS532 Cougar helicopters for combat search and rescue, as well as modern electronics and Aster missiles. She is a CATOBAR-type carrier that uses two 75 m C13‑3 steam catapults of a shorter version of the catapult system installed on the U.S.