Second US Navy ship hit by COVID-19 returns to port

Second US Navy ship hit by COVID-19 outbreak returns to port

This handout photo released by the US Navy and taken on April 28, 2020 shows the guided-missile destroyer USS Kidd (DDG 100) arriving in San Diego as part of the Navy’s aggressive response to the COVID-19 outbreak on board the ship. (AFP)

A US destroyer hit by dozens of coronavirus cases sailed into San Diego Tuesday for cleaning, making it the second Navy warship temporarily put out of action by the pandemic.

With 63 percent of the 300-strong crew tested as of Tuesday, 64 sailors aboard the USS Kidd were found positive for COVID-19, the Navy said.

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Two had been medically evacuated to the US mainland last week, and 15 others were subsequently transferred to another vessel with better medical facilities -- the USS Makin Island -- for monitoring "due to persistent symptoms," it said.


The first cases surfaced last week while the Kidd had been patrolling for drug smugglers in the Caribbean.

Medical personnel were quickly flown to the ship to conduct tests, and it was ordered back to port in the southern California city, where the crew will be evacuated and quarantined while the ship undergoes a "strategic deep-cleaning regimen."

The first vessel struck by an outbreak of the disease, the nuclear aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt, remains at dock in Guam after one month while 4,800 crew are treated and the massive ship is sterilized.

All of the crew has been tested and 969 found positive for the coronavirus. One sailor died.

Overall, the US Department of Defense says that more than 6,640 military and civilian personnel and family members have tested positive for coronavirus, with 27 deaths.


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