Captain of US carrier sends SOS

April 01, 2020

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WASHINGTON: The captain of the US aircraft carrier Theodore Roosevelt told the Pentagon that the coronavirus was spreading uncontrollably through his ship and called for immediate help to quarantine its huge crew, two US newspapers reported on Tuesday.

Captain Brett Crozier wrote in a four-page letter that they had not been able to stem the spread of Covid-19 through the 4,000 crew members, describing a dire situation aboard the huge vessel now docked at Guam.

“We are not at war. Sailors do not need to die,” Crozier wrote, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.

“The spread of the disease is ongoing and accelerating,” Crozier wrote, referring to the ship’s “inherent limitations of space”. He asked to be able to quarantine nearly the entire crew onshore at Guam, saying keeping them all on board the ship was an “unnecessary risk”. “Removing the majority of personnel from a deployed US nuclear aircraft carrier and isolating them for two weeks may seem like an extraordinary measure,” he said. “This is a necessary risk.”

The Chronicle said that more than 100 aboard the warship had been confirmed infected with Covid-19.

Published in Dawn, April 1st, 2020