Defensie

Belgian Navy Frigate returns to Zeebrugge a month early due to corona infection

The Belgian Navy frigate Leopold I has arrived back at the West Flemish port of Zeebrugge a month earlier than planned. Earlier this week a crew member tested positive for the novel coronavirus. He was taken from the ship while it was docked at the Dutch Navy base in Den Helder. It is not yet clear whether other members of the 160-strong crew are also infected. Currently they are not showing any symptoms. 

Nevertheless, they will remain in strict quarantine at their respective homes for the next 14 days. Crew members that live under the same roof as family members that are members of at risk groups will be quarantined at an army barracks.

The Leopold I had been on an exercise escorting the French aircraft carrier Charles de Gualle in the Atlantic. It made stops in Spain and in the French port of Brest. It is possible that it was there that the crew member became infected. The ship will remain docked at Zeebrugge for at least two weeks in order to remove any risk of further infection.