A Sailor abroad Belgian Navy Karel Doorman-class frigate Leopold I (F930) was tested positive for coronavirus disease (COVID-19), the service said in a statement.
“Despite the precautions taken by Defense [Belgian Defense Forces], a case of contamination has been confirmed among the crew of the frigate Leopold I. The soldier was brought ashore in Den Helder a few days ago. The family was notified”, said the statement.
#COVID19 Ondanks al de voorzorgsmaatregelen die Defensie in het algemeen en de Marine in het bijzonder hebben genomen, is er onder de bemanning van het fregat Leopold I een geval van besmetting bevestigd https://t.co/XnDbSHrq5S pic.twitter.com/3OFMAqstsI
— Belgian Defence (@BelgiumDefence) March 25, 2020
According to the Navy, a medical team is on board the vessel to take care of screening and control measures.
The frigate recently took part in an assignment for the French Navy aircraft carrier Charles De Gaulle. As a medical precaution, the ship is currently on its way to the home port in Zeebrugge, where she is expected arrive on Friday morning.
“Before arriving at the port, all necessary health precautions are taken, both for the personnel and the ship”, the statement said.
Leopold I (F930) is a Karel Doorman-class frigate of the Marine Component of the Belgian Armed Forces.
The vessel is one of the two frigates of this class (also known as “M-fregat” class) purchased from the Royal Netherlands Navy on 22 December 2005. In RNLN service, the ship was known as HNLMS Karel Doorman (F827).