Navy warship to continue exercises despite virus fears

https://www.afr.com/politics/federal/navy-warship-to-continue-exercises-despite-coronavirus-fears-20200331-p54flf

Andrew Tillett
Andrew TillettPolitical Correspondent
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The Defence Department is persisting with exercises involving one of its biggest warships despite the cruise industry exposing how rampant coronavirus can spread on vessels at sea.

HMAS Adelaide was due to depart Sydney on Tuesday bound for north Queensland and will berth at Townsville in late April.

HMAS Adelaide played a key role helping during the recent bushfire season and is now sailing to north Queensland amid the coronavirus threat. AP

The ship is one of the navy’s two landing helicopter docks and carries a crew of about 360 personnel.

While the navy has suspended training exercises, deployments and other activities, it defended the decision to still send HMAS Adelaide to sea, saying it was undergoing “essential training”.

“All crew will be screened for COVID-19 symptoms before departure,” the Defence Department said.