Vietnam speaks out about US sailors infected with Covid-19 after visiting Da Nang

Answering the reporter’s question about the 3 sailors aboard the aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt had just been confirmed positive for corona virus after visiting Da Nang two weeks earlier, Vietnamese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Le Thi Thu Hang said Vietnam is “verifying this information” and afirmed that the visit of the aircraft carrier “ended well.”

Earlier, on March 24, US Navy Secretary Thomas Modly during a press conference at the Pentagon confirmed to reporters the case of three sailors aboard the aircraft carrier Theodore Roosevelt tested positive for Corona virus, according to VOA.

The latest update from the US Navy says it has discovered 25 more sailors positive to the disease on the USS Theodore Roosevelt, prompting authorities to bring the aircraft carrier to a port and test all 5,000 sailors on board, US media reported on March 27.

The number of infected sailors is expected to reach “dozens,” a navy official told CNN.
The most recent visit of USS Theodore Roosevelt was at Tien Sa port, Da Nang, two weeks before the US Navy announced the first three confirmed cases of virus infection in the aircraft carrier.

Vice Chairman of Da Nang City People’s Committee Ho Ky Minh welcomed US Ambassador to Vietnam Daniel Kritenbrink.

Despite doubts about the link between the event of sailors being infected by the virus and a visit to Vietnam, Admiral Michael Gilday, commander of US naval operations, said that there were many aircraft flying to and from the aircraft carrier, so determining the virus source is “very difficult.”

He added that at the time of the Roosevelt visit in early March, Vietnam had only 16 virus infections in the North, hundreds of kilometers away from Danang Port.

USNI news site of the United States Naval Academy announced this on 24-3 said, 3 people with symptoms of fever and myalgia were taken to a US Department of Defense hospital in the Pacific and those who have been Close contact with them are also isolated.

Officials of the US Embassy in Hanoi and Da Nang officials also flew to the aircraft carrier, while the ship was still off the coast of the coastal city.

The Navy is still investigating how the virus could spread on Theodore Roosevelt and it is unclear where the virus came from despite the carrier and an escort ship visiting the port of Danang, Vietnam 15 days ago.

In the case of the aircraft carrier, it was at the port last time 15 days ago, but I think it will be difficult to tie these positive cases into that particular port visit.

We had airplanes flying to and from the ship and so we didn’t want to say it was a special port visit, ”Admiral Mike Gilday, the US Navy chief of staff told reporters at the Pentagon.

Gilday added that the navy carried out advanced medical examinations when the ship of 5,000 sailors came to exchange in Da Nang and returned to the ship.

Earlier, the U.S.-India Pacific Command (INDO-PACOM) on February 27 issued a policy requiring a 14-day period between port visits, to ensure the US Navy ships will not spread the disease around the Pacific.

Sailors are ashore on March 5 at Tien sa port of Danang

It was around the time that Admiral Phil Davidson, Commander of INDO-PACOM allowed Theodore Roosevelt to conduct a planned port visit to Danang, it was important that Vietnam allowed only one warship of each country to visit its ports every year.

According to USNI, when the decision to visit Vietnam was made in late February or early March, at that time Vietnam had only 16 positive cases and these cases were mostly in the north.

However, the US Navy Chief of Staff said the decision to bring the ship ashore two weeks earlier was a risky decision and the navy conducted a 14-day isolation period for those aboard.

We have just reached the 15th today,” added Mike Gilday.

As we announced, USS Theodore Roosevelt and Bunker Hill cruiser visited Da Nang City on March 5-9.

At that time, Vice Chairman of Da Nang People’s Committee – Mr. Ho Ky Minh and US Ambassador Daniel Kritenbrink welcomed the delegation.

Although it is expected that there will be “an additional” number of cases after all sailors on board are tested, another navy official told CNN that “most likely” the Ministry of Defense would not announce the specific number of infected sailors aboard the Roosevelt, fearing that rivals such as China and North Korea could take advantage of the “vulnerability” of the ship.

In a statement, Admiral Mike Gilday said: “We believe our strong response will help USS Theodore Roosevelt cope with any crisis in the region.”

Earlier on the same day, Navy Secretary Thomas Modly said there were “a few” more cases on board, but no specific figures were given.

We are in the process of testing 100% of the ship’s crew to ensure there is no spread,” Modly quoted CNN as telling reporters at the Pentagon on March 26.
The official added that the Roosevelt was being brought to Guam and “no one on board was allowed to leave the dock when arriving on Guam.”

As of March 26, there have been 280 cases of Covid-19 in the military and nearly 600 cases in the US Department of Defense, including personnel, relatives and contract workers. According to Mr. Mody, there are 133 of these people in the navy.

On the afternoon of March 26, Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Le Thi Thu Hang responded to the question of a foreign television representative regarding the three soldiers in the aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt two weeks ago to Vietnam, currently infected with the Avian Influenza Influenza. .

At the State Department’s first online press conference on the afternoon of March 26, Hong Kong TV channel representative Phoenix TV mentioned that the 3 sailors aboard the USS Theodore Roosevelt visited Da Nang more than 2 weeks ago, considered tested positive for SARS-CoV-2, and asked the question: Were they infected with Covid-19 when they arrived in Vietnam, and did Vietnam determine who had contact with these sailors?

Answering the above question, Vietnamese Foreign Ministry’s Spokeswoman Le Thi Thu Hang said: “We are interested and are verifying this information. As far as I know, the US has made a statement about this. The visit of USS Theodore Roosevelt aircraft carrier to Da Nang on March 3-9 ended successfully. The crew performed the exchange activities according to the plan.”

Currently, the US Navy has about 100 ships, one third of them are in the waters of the world.
USS Theodore Roosevelt aircraft carrier combat group was deployed from Coronado Naval Base in January with more than 6,000 people.

On Thursday, the Pentagon confirmed that Defense Secretary Mark Esper ordered stopping all US military operations abroad for 60 days, affecting 90,000 people in scheduled operations. However, this order exempted patients such as sailors aboard Roosevelt and other ships.
On the same day, March 26, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Vietnam also asked Beijing to “respect its sovereignty” after Chinese state media informed about the two new “research stations” that were inaugurated at Cross Reef and Subi Reef, claimed by Vietnam.

Vietnam requires China to respect Vietnam’s sovereignty, take no action to increase tensions, complicate the situation and affect peace in the East Sea and the region,” Tien Phong newspaper quoted Vietnamese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Le Thi Thu Hang at an online press conference on March 26.

Earlier, on 24 March, Xinhua reported the inauguration ceremony of two “research stations,” which the international media called new military facilities, on two rocky islands in the Truong Sa (Spratlys).

According to the state-run Chinese newspaper, the two research stations with laboratories in ecology, geology and the environment “are intended to assist scientists in field surveys, sampling and scientific research on Nansha (Spratlys).”

However, some international researchers believe that China’s latest move is evidence that Beijing is taking advantage of the situation when the whole world is grappling with the pandemic to “encroach” in its plan to conquer the East Sea (South China Sea).

Some people may think that the ongoing corona virus pandemic will distract Beijing from these maritime hotspots, but the reality is exactly the opposite,” maritime security researcher Collin Koh told

Trung Nam from Da nang – (Translated)