COVID-19: Royal Navy aircraft carrier crew test positive for coronavirus | UK News


The coronavirus has broken out on the UK’s second aircraft carrier, HMS Prince of Wales, meaning the Royal Navy’s two largest ships have cases of COVID on board.

About eight of the Prince of Wales’ crew have tested positive after disembarking in Gibraltar, according to Sky News. This development was first reported by The Sun newspaper.

Tuesday, a separate, much larger outbreak revealed on Britain’s flagship aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth and the fleet of escort warships.

Ben Wallace, Secretary of Defense, said the outbreak was “inevitable” for a group of ships making a multi-month global voyage.

He told Sky News that the rules for sailors disembarking at different ports are under review, a sign that they may need to be tightened to reduce the risk of crew members contracting the disease and bringing it back to the strike group. carriers.

“The good news is that so far no one has even been referred to the infirmary,” Wallace said during a visit to the United States.

“That means we’re going to handle it, but of course we’re going to review it every time we stop.

“We will make sure to check, to make sure that a risk assessment is done and if necessary either people will not go ashore or if the host country does not want people to come on board we will respect that. “, he added.

More than 100 crew members of HMS Queen Elizabeth have tested positive for the coronavirus, with cases also on four other Royal Navy ships in the carrier group.

Mr Wallace said the rate of new infections was slowing and the strike group’s maiden voyage, which will include transit through the South China Sea, was under review.

“We have days and days to cross the Indian Ocean before these ships even get to port. We have plenty of time to make decisions if we need to,” he said.

“It is inevitable at some point in these eight-nine months of deployment that someone will contract coronavirus … To expect that this would not happen would actually be much more delusional.”

Away from the carrier’s attack group, HMS Prince of Wales was due to return to Portsmouth as planned on Thursday at the end of the ship’s last sea test before becoming operational.

All crew members are doubly vaccinated.

Infected sailors will remain on board to complete their period of isolation but anyone will be allowed to disembark after PCR testing.


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