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Okinawa: US military bases hit by Covid-19

The blocking ordinance issued on Saturday morning prohibits almost all movements of tens of thousands of U.S. military personnel outside of the base at the bases, unless approved by an officer with the rank of lieutenant colonel or higher.

The order includes the key Kadena Air Base, which describes itself as the hub of US air power in the Pacific, and after US admirals last week touted the “extraordinary measures” the Navy had taken to halt the US military readiness in the region restore the worsening pandemic.

The Okinawa Prefectural Governor’s office said that by Sunday, 62 cases of Covid-19 had been diagnosed by personnel at Air Station Futenma, Camp Hansen and Camp Kinza of the U.S. Marines Corps. For security reasons, the US military does not publish figures on virus cases.

A statement by U.S. Air Force Brig. Gen. Joel Carey, the commander of Kadena Air Base, said Friday that “several new positive cases”

; have occurred in U.S. military facilities on the island and three cases in the local population.

“The US cases were primarily Marines assigned to MCAS Futenma and Camp Hansen and were a mix of travel-related and origin-based ones that we have not yet identified, indicating the potential for a resurgence in the spread of the community.” , Carey’s statement posted on the grassroots website.

US Marine Corps bases have been placed under Charlie’s health condition, which, according to a Navy website, prohibits all activities outside of the base, except travel to and from the dormitory bases. Any other trip requires the approval of a manager.

U.S. Marines train in Camp Hansen, Japan in 2017.

Under the Charlie condition, U.S. military personnel and their family members, including civilian US contractors, may not visit out-of-base facilities, use public transportation, or even exercise outdoors. The staff is also not allowed to take any vacation or vacation time.

Kadena Air Base’s Facebook page was said to also be under Charlie’s health condition, but air force restrictions were slightly less stringent than those imposed by the Marines, allowing visits to grocery stores, pharmacies, and off-base food drive thrus.

Despite the restrictions, Okinawa officials were frustrated with the U.S. forces.

In a statement, the governor of the prefecture, Denny Tamaki, said that the US should not allow troops to come to Okinawa from bases in the US and elsewhere during the pandemic.
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The governor’s office said that U.S. military personnel arriving on the island would be accommodated in hotels in the island’s Chatan district near Kadena Air Base because the facilities on the base were filled with US personnel in Covid-19 isolation be.

Tamaki told public broadcaster NHK News that the increase in US cases was due to the fact that the island had prevented coronavirus cases well.

“I am shocked. It is extremely unfortunate that a large number of cases occur in a short time when all Okinawans try so hard to prevent the spread of the infection,” he said.

Okinawa had no new cases between May 1st and July 7th. The total as of July 10 was 145 infections, including seven deaths.

NHK reported on Saturday that three Okinawa visitors from the Tokyo region had tested positive for Covid-19 since last Thursday.
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Cases of Covid-19 have increased in the Japanese capital and across the country in the past week. 411 new cases were reported nationwide on Sunday, 206 of them in Tokyo. There were more than 200 new cases on the fourth day in a row.

The new cases among US military personnel occur because the virus is spreading rapidly in the United States. More than half of the country’s 50 states are dealing with an increased rate of new cases compared to a week ago.

A state in Florida reported 15,299 new Covid-19 cases on Saturday, the highest number of new cases in a single day since the coronavirus pandemic began.

But in the Pacific, the U.S. military said it had been successful in fighting the virus, causing the aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt to cripple for weeks in the spring when the virus struck more than 1,000 crew members.
A U.S. Navy P-8A poseidon takes off from Kadena Air Base, Japan on August 10, 2018.

Last week, however, two of its sister ships, the USS Ronald Reagan and the USS Nimitz, completed rare double-girder exercises in the South China Sea. The admirals responsible for these exercises said the Navy had taken “exceptional measures” to achieve a high level of readiness.

“The entire team, everyone on board, must wear a mask,” counter-administrator George Wikoff, commander of the Reagan Carrier Task Force, said about the 12,000 employees in the exercises.

The Navy has also distributed meal times, introduced social detachment, and brought in specialists such as microbiologists and additional health workers, Wikoff said.

However, a deteriorating situation for Covid-19 on Okinawa could affect US efforts in the Pacific.

Kadena pays off with Keystone of the Pacific. Nearly 18,000 Americans work at the base, which houses U.S. Air Force fighter planes, U.S. Navy reconnaissance planes, and is an important hub for the movement of U.S. aircraft throughout the region, including frequent operations over the South China Sea.

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