Manawatu Standard

Navy staff have virus

- Carolinewi­lliams

Six Royal New Zealand Navy personnel and six family members have tested positive for Covid-19 in Canada.

There are 103 navy personnel in Canada, where frigate HMNZS Temana is undergoing amajor upgrade.

As a precaution, 46 people are isolating, comprising 21 navy personnel and 25 family members. Forty people have returned negative tests, with the Defence Force describing the situation as ‘‘contained’’.

The navy staff are staying at an accommodat­ion block 12 kilometres from the Canadian Forces Base Esquimalt, Commander Mike Peebles said. ‘‘It is this accommodat­ion which is at the centre of the cases. They are all showing only mild symptoms and some are now starting to recover.’’

The staff and familymemb­ers are yet to be vaccinated against Covid-19, however vaccinatio­ns are expected to begin next month.

As a result of the outbreak, the upgrade of Te Mana has been suspended until later this month.

‘‘The situation is currently assessed as ‘contained’, and the prompt action taken to identify and isolate affected personnel reduced the impact to personnel and the project,’’ Peebles said.

Personnel in other areas of the base are ‘‘following appropriat­e Covid-19 protocols’’, he added, including wearing masks and social distancing.

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