By Hiroaki Sunada
On June 4, Yokosuka City mayor Katsuaki Kamiji exchanged information on the novel coronavirus response with Rear Admiral Brian P. Fort, Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Japan, and Captain Rich Jarrett, Commander, Fleet Activities Yokosuka.
Six servicemen at the Yokosuka base are reported to have been infected with the coronavirus. There are reports that about 15 servicemen on the aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan were infected. Admiral Fort told Kamiji that although USFJ cannot release the number of infections by base or unit, Japanese and U.S. health officials are in close contact when there are cases that may affect the local community. Admiral Fort said that most COVID-19 patients at the Yokosuka base have completely recovered.
Infected individuals are quarantined at the naval hospital on the base. Those who have been in close contact with infected individuals are also quarantined and undergo PCR testing.
Kamiji showed understanding for USFJ’s not being able to release infection information due to security reasons. Kamiji requested that USFJ make Japanese base employees aware of the fact that it takes through preventive measures against infection. Admiral Fort replied that Japanese employees are part of the “family” and that the base will continue to provide them with information.
Currently, there are restrictions on outings outside the base. Captain Jarrett disclosed that there is a plan to gradually ease the restrictions.