The number of COVID-19 cases on USS Theodore Roosevelt, the nuclear-powered American aircraft carrier, has increased to 550, the US Navy said in an update, the Navy said that 92 per cent of the carrier's crew members have been tested for COVID-19, with 550 positive and 3,673 negative, and that a total of 3,696 sailors have been moved ashore.

Meanwhile, a  sailor died on Monday after contracting the coronavirus aboard the U.S. aircraft carrier Theodore Roosevelt, whose captain was fired after warning his crew would die unnecessarily unless strong action was taken.

The sailor, the first active-duty U.S. servicemember to die from coronavirus complications, was admitted to intensive care on April 9 after being found unresponsive in his quarters. The sailor had tested positive exactly two weeks ago on March 30, the Navy said.

So far, about 12% of the Theodore Roosevelt’s crew of 4,800 have tested positive for COVID-19, the respiratory disease caused by the coronavirus - in one of the most visible demonstrations of how the pandemic is affecting the U.S. military.

A U.S. official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said four additional sailors from the nuclear-powered carrier had been taken to the hospital to be monitored and were in stable condition.

Late last month the aircraft carrier’s commander, Captain Brett Crozier, called on Navy leadership to evacuate the vast majority of the crew and to clean the ship in a letter that leaked to the public - embarrassing the Navy. That letter by Crozier, which was obtained by a number of news outlets, set in motion a series of events that led to Crozier’s firing and the resignation last week of acting Navy Secretary Thomas Modly.

Modly’s resignation highlighted the U.S. military’s struggle to meet increasingly competing priorities: maintaining readiness for conflict and safeguarding service members as the virus spreads globally.

Sailors assigned to four carriers, including the Roosevelt, have now tested positive for the coronavirus.