Two more Air Force officers tested positive for the new coronavirus on Wednesday, bringing the total number of confirmed cases in the military to 20, the defence ministry said.
They were among the country’s 1,261 confirmed cases, which includes 12 deaths.
Out of the 20, 13 are in the Army, five are in the Air Force, and one each in the Navy and the Marine Corps, the ministry added.
Around 9,570 service members are quarantined at their bases.
Adding that the remaining had recently visited the southeastern city of Daegu or surrounding regions, where a spike in confirmed cases has been reported over the past week.
In the wake of the continued growth in confirmed cases, the military authorities of South Korea and the U.S. have also discussed the potential adjustment of their combined military exercises slated for March.
U.S. Defence Secretary, Mark Esper said earlier that the allies are looking to scale down exercises due to concerns over the new coronavirus.
The U.S. Forces Korea (USFK) also reported its first confirmed case among its service personnel on Wednesday, as a 23-year-old soldier at Camp Carroll in South Korea’s southeastern county of Chilgok tested positive.
Following the first confirmed case among its service personnel, the South Korean defence ministry has halted off-installation drills and physical examinations for potential draftees.
It has also restricted all enlisted soldiers from vacationing, staying outside their base and meeting visitors.
In order to support nationwide anti-virus efforts, the military authorities has mobilised around 1,130 officials and soldiers, including around 300 military medical staff, according to the ministry.
The briefing room and the pressroom at the ministry building in Seoul, meanwhile, reopened late on Wednesday following the two-day closure for anti-coronavirus disinfection work, which came after a cameraman with a local news outlet visited the facilities had shown symptoms of pneumonia.
He tested negative for the virus, according to the officials.
Edited By: Halima Sheji/Emmanuel Yashim
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