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Two more service members test positive for new coronavirus

(Yonhap)
(Yonhap)

An airman stationed in the city of Seongnam near Seoul and an Army soldier in the southeastern city of Daegu tested positive for the new coronavirus, the defense ministry said Monday.

Both are presumed to have been infected with COVID-19 after coming into contact with their colleagues who tested positive earlier, according to the ministry.

At the Seongnam base, five service members tested positive so far, with the first patient being reported Saturday after returning from vacation in mid-August.

"All the other members of the unit tested negative," the ministry said in a message to reporters.

Since last week, the ministry has restricted all service members from vacationing and off-installation trips to stem the spread of the virus.

The total number of COVID-19 patients among military members stood at 107 as of 10 a.m. Monday. The previous day, the ministry reported five more patients: one Army officer in Daegu, one full-time reserve soldier in the adjacent county of Yecheon, and three Air Force members in Seongnam.

Currently, 1,011 service members are in isolation in accordance with the health authorities' guidelines, and the military has quarantined an additional 2,960 people under stricter anti-virus schemes of its own as a preventive step.

South Korea has seen a surge in COVID-19 cases since the middle of this month, mostly in Seoul and the surrounding metropolitan area, and the authorities have imposed stricter social distancing guidelines in the region since Sunday.

On Monday, the country reported 248 new COVID-19 cases, including 238 local infections, raising the total caseload to 19,947, according to the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC). (Yonhap)
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