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Three US Navy sailors aboard aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN-71) in the Pacific Ocean have tested positive for Covid-19.

These are the first detected cases of coronavirus on a deployed US ship.

The three affected sailors have been evacuated from the ship and have been quarantined in an undisclosed US medical facility.

Acting US Secretary of the Navy Thomas Modly said: “We’ve identified all the folks they’ve had contact with, and we’re quarantining them as well.

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“This is an example of how we are able to keep our ships deployed at seas and underway, even with active Covid-19 cases.”

The crew of USS Theodore consists of 5,000 people, with those who came into contact with the infected sailors now under isolation.

A total 86 US Navy personnel have been tested positive for Covid-19. This figure consists of 57 active-duty service members, 13 navy civilian employees, 11 navy family members, and five contractors.

Modly added: “The navy and Marine Corps front lines are constantly being redrawn, and we’re realising today that unpredictability is with us.”

US Navy admiral Michael Gilday said: “We took great precautions when the crew came back from that shore visit, and did enhanced medical screenings of the crew.

“We are moving very quickly to isolate those cases. We understand who they came in contact with over the recent days and weeks, so we’ve begun to look inside the ship and at how we can isolate and contain as best we can.”

Last week, the US Navy deployed hospital ship USNS Mercy carrying 1,128 military personnel and civilians.