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US military restricts travel to S. Korea over coronavirus


WASHINGTON -- The US Indo-Pacific military command said Wednesday it is restricting nonessential travel to South Korea over concerns about the coronavirus.

The notice came after a soldier with US Forces Korea tested positive for COVID-19 amid a rapid rise in the number of cases in the country.

"Effective immediately, Commander, US Indo-Pacific Command, in line with the CDC Travel Health Notice, restricts all nonessential (Department of Defense) travel to (Republic of Korea) to reduce risks associated with COVID-19," the command said on its Twitter and Facebook pages.

"This travel restriction applies to all military, civilians and contractors under US Indo-Pacific command authority," it said.

Earlier this week, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued the highest type of travel health notice for South Korea, recommending that Americans avoid all nonessential travel to the country due to the spread of the coronavirus there.

South Korea has reported a total of 1,261 cases, with 12 deaths linked to the virus.

About 28,500 American troops are currently stationed in South Korea. (Yonhap)