Washington D.C.[USA], Mar 11 (ANI): The Pentagon on Tuesday announced that US Defence Secretary Mark Esper's trip to Central and South Asia has been postponed in the wake of coronavirus outbreak.
"Out of an abundance of caution, the secretary of defense has decided to postpone his travel to India, Uzbekistan, and Pakistan until a later date to remain in the US to help manage the Department of Defence (DoD) response to coronavirus," Pentagon press secretary Alyssa Farah tweeted.
The announcement came amid the increasing risk brought by coronavirus to US servicemen home and abroad and Pentagon officials said the department is taking steps to control the spread of the virus by taking serveral measures, including "social distancing" and wiping down workspaces.
Several members of the military have tested positive or may have been exposed to the novel coronavirus, also known as COVID-19.
On Monday, the Army announced that its top general in Europe, Lt. Gen. Christopher Cavoli, and several staffers may have been exposed to the virus at a recent conference. In a statement, Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy said Cavoli and the others are self-monitoring and working remotely, The Hill reported.
The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in the United States reached 761 as of noon local time on Tuesday, according to the Johns Hopkins Center for Systems Science and Engineering.
Moreover, Universities from California to New York have closed campus classrooms as the novel coronavirus has affected more than 100,000 people worldwide and its spread has transformed into a pandemic.
The deadly virus which originated in Wuhan, China has affected more than 105 counties and has infected more than 115,000 people globally with nearly 4,000 deaths. (ANI)