About 1,100 soldiers are quarantined as part of efforts to prevent the new coronavirus from spreading into barracks, the defense ministry said Monday.
The quarantined soldiers, including 400 conscripts, have either visited China, Hong Kong or Macao in the past 14 days or had contact with people who traveled to those places, according to the ministry.
"No confirmed or suspected cases have been reported among our service personnel. We've been thoroughly implementing related preemptive measures," a ministry official said, citing such measures as banning soldiers' trips to China and modifying field trainings.
As of early Monday, South Korea had 27 confirmed cases of the new virus.
Asked if the ministry has made a decision on whether to take part in the upcoming Cobra Gold multinational exercise as planned, ministry spokesperson Choi Hyun-soo told a regular briefing that the authorities are closely monitoring developments of the outbreak.
"As of now, no changes have been made. We've been keeping close tabs on the current situation," Choi said.
South Korea is scheduled to send about 400 soldiers to the multinational drills set to be held from Feb. 26 through March 6 in Thailand, which is expected to bring together more than two dozen countries, including the United States, Japan and Singapore.
But officials have said it is reviewing the plan due to the novel coronavirus that has swept through Asia. (Yonhap)