This post is also available in: עברית (Hebrew)
The coronavirus pandemic is also starting to take a toll on military operations, as for the first time, infections had been detected aboard a U.S. Navy ship at sea.
The US Navy is pulling one of its aircraft carriers out of commission on the U.S. territory of Guam in the western Pacific Ocean, to test the entire 5,000-person crew for coronavirus, after at least 23 sailors tested positive, Navy officials say. They expect the number of sailors infected to continue to grow.
The carrier was the USS Theodore Roosevelt, one of 11 active carriers in the Navy fleet.
The growing number of positive tests is a major cause of concern to US defense officials, as the tight quarters in aircraft carriers hold the potential for even more infections among the ship’s crew. That led to the decision to test the entire ship’s crew for the virus, according to abcnews.com.
General John Hyten, the vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff told reporters that it is expected that the testing of the ship’s crew could take as long as a week.
Military leaders have taken extraordinary steps to ensure the outbreak won’t continue to spread, including suspending participation in a number of major exercises that were planned in Europe and Africa. Officials have downplayed any impact of the outbreak on military readiness, according to vice.com.