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Taiwan Navy ship grounded after a crew member tests positive for COVID-19

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A Taiwanese warship has been grounded after a crew member tested positive for coronavirus, the second vessel to be hit by an outbreak of Covid-19 within just two days, Taiwan’s Navy has confirmed.

The island is experiencing a new wave of infection, with over 60,000 new cases reported every day for almost a week and the daily tally is expected to exceed 100,000 later this week.

Navy Spokesman Rear Adm. Feng Kuo-wei said in a statement that the Keelung-class destroyer of the 168th Fleet has just returned from a mission at sea when the crew member got sick.

The whole crew is being isolated for PCR tests, and those who have Covid will be quarantined in accordance to the government’s regulations, Feng said, adding that the ship’s combat readiness is not affected.

The Taiwanese Navy has four guided missile Keelung-class destroyers, bought from the U.S., each has a maximum capacity of 250 crew members.

On Monday another ship, a Chi Yang-class frigate – the Fong Yang – was ordered to return to base after several crew members tested positive.

The number of infected personnel has not been disclosed.

Earlier this month, Defense Minister Chiu Kuo-cheng told a committee at the Taiwanese legislature that more than 1,000 officers and soldiers had tested positive for COVID-19, but fewer than 100 of them had been hospitalized.

Most of the cases only have mild symptoms, Chiu said. More than 98 percent of Taiwanese military personnel have had two jabs and around 89 percent have been triple-vaccinated.

Taiwan’s army has about 180,000 service members.