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Sport Covid: Parly admits that soldiers returning from Wuhan in January were not tested

19:20  23 september  2020
19:20  23 september  2020 Source:   europe1.fr

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La ministre de la Défense Florence Parly a admis devant le Sénat avoir affirmé à tort que des militaires revenus de Wuhan début 2020 avaient été testés au coronavirus.  © PHILIPPE HUGUEN / AFP Defense Minister Florence Parly admitted to the Senate that she wrongly claimed that soldiers returned from Wuhan at the start 2020 had been tested for coronavirus. "No, the military base of Creil is not at the origin of a cluster in the Oise", assured the minister, who was strongly criticized by the opposition.

Florence Parly suffered criticism from the opposition on Wednesday after admitting the day before having wrongly asserted in March that the military returning from a mission in China in early 2020 had been tested for Covid-19 . In January, a French plane repatriated nearly 200 French people stranded in Wuhan, in central China, the first place where the new coronavirus was spotted at the end of 2019. The crew consisted of soldiers from the Creil air base, in Oise , a department that in February became one of the main centers of infection in France.

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Tuesday, before the senatorial commission of inquiry on the management of the epidemic, the minister admitted to having "said something about inaccurate on March 4 at France 2 "by asserting at the time that the flight crew had been tested on their return from Wuhan. “It was a shortcut,” she pleaded. "The crews returning from Wuhan were subjected to an extremely strict health protocol but which indeed did not include at the time of tests". "The dogma at that time was not to test everyone but to test symptomatic people," added the central director of the military health service, Maryline Gygax Genero, also auditioned.

Strong criticism of the opposition

Florence Parly recalled that an investigation had discovered a posteriori a first case of Covid-19 in the Oise in mid-January, that is to say before the soldiers were sent to Wuhan. In addition, the latter did not descend from the aircraft in China and were wearing protective gear. Thus, estimated the minister, "no, the military base of Creil is not at the origin of a cluster in the Oise". Florence Parly's testimony sparked criticism from opposition parliamentarians, pushing the government to stand up for her. "How to trust a government that continually lies?" Responded Senator EELV Esther Benbassa on Twitter.

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Florence Parly "admitted being wrong, which can happen to anyone, including ministers", argued Wednesday the government spokesman Gabriel Attal after the Council of Ministers, recalling that "the health protocol in force was not the same today and did not provide for systematic tests". "Unfortunately all doubts are allowed since these soldiers, between January 31 and February 14, did not work for the most part, they remained at home but they could go about their business", lamented on LCI Senator LR de l'Oise, Olivier Paccaud, regretting that they had not been tested.

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