Coronavirus outbreak on HMS Richmond with infected crew returning to base

The Royal Navy has confirmed an outbreak of coronavirus among the crew of HMS Richmond, with infected individuals on base and under medical supervision.

Infected personnel on the Type-23 frigate were brought ashore yesterday in Plymouth and received treatment by medical staff.

However military authorities have not commented how many of the 185-strong crew tested positive for Covid-19.

Remaining crew members on the warship, currently based in Devonport, Plymouth, are following Public Health Covid-19 guidelines, with several being required to self-isolate.

The viral outbreak on the frigate is the latest to affect the navy as positive tests continue to surge among the population.

Speaking at a press conference in Downing Street earlier this week, the UK’s Chief Scientific Advisor Patrick Vallance warned that there could be 50,000 coronavirus cases per day next month, leading to 200-plus daily deaths, if the rate of the disease’s spread was not tackled.

However, Sir Vallance stressed the figures given were not a prediction, but added: “At the moment we think the epidemic is doubling roughly every seven days.

“If, and that’s quite a big if, but if that continues unabated, and this grows, doubling every seven days… if that continued you would end up with something like 50,000 cases in the middle of October per day.”

A Royal Navy spokesman said:  “We can confirm that a number of personnel from HMS Richmond have tested positive for Covid-19.

“Those individuals are ashore and are under medical supervision.

“The remaining crew are following appropriate guidelines while the Royal Navy continues to manage the situation.”

Earlier this month, an outbreak of Covid-19 forced hundreds aboard the Royal Navy’s flagship HMS Albion to quarantine.

Only a “very small number” of crew members aboard the amphibious assault ship tested positive for Covid-19, the Royal Navy said.

A Royal Navy spokesman commented: “As part of HMS Albion’s preparation for sailing the crew was tested for Covid and a very small number of personnel tested positive.”

“Those affected have been landed and are working with the NHS Test and Trace system to ensure the virus does not spread further.”

Additionally one hundred sailors aboard HMS Queen Elizabeth were forced to self-isolate after crew members tested positive for Covid-19 at the beginning of September. 

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