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US Navy Evacuates Hundreds From Aircraft Carrier After Virus Outbreak - Secretary

© AFP 2021 / PAUL L. ARCHERThis US Navy file handout photo shows the aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71)as it transits the Pacific Ocean while conducting a tailored ship’s training availability off the coast of Southern California on April 30, 2017.
This US Navy file handout photo shows the aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71)as it transits the Pacific Ocean while conducting a tailored ship’s training availability off the coast of Southern California on April 30, 2017. - Sputnik International
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WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - US Navy began evacuating hundreds of sailors from its coronavirus-hit Theodore Roosevelt aircraft carrier, but will keep aboard enough personnel to maintain the nuclear-powered ship’s safety, Acting Navy Secretary Thomas Modly told reporters on Wednesday.
"We already have nearly one thousand personnel off the ship right now and in the next couple of days we expect to have about 2,700 of them off the ship," Modley said at a Pentagon briefing. "We cannot and will not remove all the sailors off the ship. Our plan has always been to remove as much of the crew as we can while maintaining for the ship’s safety."

He added that there are less than a hundred personnel who have tested positive so far. None of them is seriously ill and required hospitalization.

"We have 93 positive tests, 86 exhibiting symptoms and 7 without symptoms," Modley said. "We have tested about 24 percent of the crew. We have about 1,273 of the crew that have been tested."

The ship is docked in Guam where the Naval command together with the local authorities are looking for premises to accommodate evacuated sailors.

Modley emphasized that the outbreak doesn’t compromise the battle-readiness of the ship which "will go if it needs to go."

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