COVID-19 outbreak hits EU patrol boat docked in Italy

ROME (Reuters) - Some 51 out of 186 crew members of a European Union naval vessel on Friday tested positive for the coronavirus, the EU’s Irini military mission said in a statement, adding the infections were discovered following routine testing.

The mission operates in the Mediterranean to stop arms from reach warring factions in Libya, enforcing an embargo imposed by the U.N. Security Council to stop military clashes and facilitate the peace process in the African country.

The Margottini frigate is docked in the southern Italian port of Augusta for logistic reasons after 15 days of activity at sea, the statement said. The majority of those who tested positive were Italian nationals.

Irini said it would now repeat the test for all the personnel on board to check whether there were even more infections.

Reporting by Angelo Amante; Editing by Kirsten Donovan