COVID-19 cases on US aircraft carrier rise to 550: Navy

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Washington, April 12 (IANS) The number of COVID-19 cases on USS Theodore Roosevelt, the nuclear-powered American aircraft carrier, has increased to 550, the US Navy said.

In an update on Saturday, the Navy said that 92 per cent of the carrier’s crew members have been tested for COVID-19, with 550 positive and 3,673 negative, and that a total of 3,696 sailors have been moved ashore, reports Xinhua news agency.
The data came some two weeks after the ship’s captain Brett Crozier sounded alarm over the outbreak when only dozens of sailors on the ship had tested positive for the virus.
In doing so, Crozier was relieved of his command by then-acting Secretary of the US Navy Thomas Modly, who himself resigned later after his remarks lashing out at the captain backfired.
Secretary of Defence Mark Esper has said that a reinstatement of Crozier was not off the table, and that no decision would be made until an investigation was complete.
“We’ve taken nothing off the table. What I look to do is hear from the chain of command. My inclination is always to support the chain of command and to take their recommendation seriously,” Esper told CBS News on Friday.
The US Navy has reported 945 cases and four deaths across the branch, according to Saturday’s update.
Meanwhile, the US surpassed Italy with the highest number of coronavirus deaths in the world as the fatalities as of Sunday reached 20,604, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.
The country also accounts for the highest number of confirmed cases with 529,887.