Rapid increase in coronavirus cases aboard U.S. aircraft carrier

27 Mars, 2020, 00:41 | Auteur: Anatole Charbonneau
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Modly said the carrier could do a small amount of the testing of samples taken from crew members for the virus, but that the Navy was looking into which other labs could do the tests.

There has been a coronavirus outbreak aboard a deployed US Navy aircraft carrier, and the situation is getting worse.

Acting Navy Secretary Thomas Modly made the announcement during Thursday's press briefing at the Pentagon.

By Thursday, the number of infected sailors shot up to 23, according to two US officials.

A Navy official told Insider on Wednesday that the number of infected sailors had risen to eight, as five more sailors had tested positive. A USA official told ABC News that the carrier is expected to arrive in Guam late Thursday.

"We are trending higher", Modly said, adding it was too early to say why that was the case.

"Immediate priority will be symptomatic Sailors, those in close contact with Sailors who have tested positive already, and essential watch standers", he continued. It is unclear whether its crew will be allowed off the ship before its lockdown begins. He said there are "aches and pains" and "sore throats", but nothing requiring hospitalization.

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"We expect additional positive tests, and those Sailors who test positive will be transported to the U.S. Naval Hospital Guam for further evaluation and treatment as necessary", he said. "Our top two priorities are taking care of our people and maintaining mission readiness". It's last port visit was in Da Nang, Vietnam, but Pentagon officials said they hadn't determined if that was where the first crewmember was exposed to the coronavirus.

The USS Roosevelt isn't the only part of the military getting hit by the coronavirus crisis.

"What we want to do is give you aggregated numbers", the wire service quotes Esper as saying.

"No base or regional personnel will access the pier", Gilday said.

There are 5,000 sailors aboard the carrier, and Modly says some are being tested with approximately 800 test kits available and a limited laboratory capacity to process them on board.

The first three sailors tested positive 15 days after the port of call.

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