France confirms Covid-19 in military crew sent to Tahiti

7:52 am on 7 May 2020

The French High Commission in French Polynesia says the crew member of a French military aircraft who tested positive for Covid-19 during his stay in Tahiti is not contagious.

This was revealed in a statement after media reported that the military Airbus A330 had left French Polynesia as scheduled in the direction of the United States.

It said the individual only had a weak viral trace.

It also said that the crew had not been in a two-week quarantine before departing France, but that they wore gloves and masks during the trip.

French military A330

French military A330 Photo: supplied FB

Earlier Paris said the protocol for French military deployment to overseas bases involved a two-week isolation and a negative test result before departure.

The plane arrived in Tahiti three days ago after stopping over in La Reunion and in New Caledonia, where the crew is said to have been kept in isolation at the airbase outside Noumea.

The Airbus flew in goods for the French military and dropped off a team of decontamination specialists who will have to remain in isolation for two weeks.

The French Polynesian government confirmed the Covid-19 case several hours after it had been reported by the media.

The tally of infections yesterday was raised by two to 60.

French air base in New Caledonia

French air base in New Caledonia Photo: RNZ Pacific / Walter Zweifel