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Military to postpone annual training for reservists due to coronavirus

All News 11:05 February 03, 2020

SEOUL, Feb. 3 (Yonhap) -- South Korea decided to postpone regular training sessions for reserve forces as part of efforts to contain the new type of coronavirus, the defense ministry has said.

The regular trainings for the country's 2.75 million-strong reserve forces were scheduled to kick off on March 2 across the nation, but they will be held after April 17, according to the ministry on Sunday.

"We will notify the people of the details later after rearranging the schedule," the ministry said in a release.

Reservists are required to go through one training session of one to three days per year.

As part of efforts to prevent the deadly virus from spreading into barracks, the military also barred family members of new recruits from attending admission ceremonies, effective on Sunday.

Along with those who visited China, service personnel who returned from Hong Kong and Macao recently have also been quarantined, the ministry said. The incubation period for the novel virus is known to be around 14 days.

The Military Manpower Administration started this year's physical checkup for potential draftees on Monday, and set up a special team against the outbreak.

It also postponed checkups for 11 out of 234 candidates who are subject to the examination this month, as they recently visited China, according to the administration.

As of Monday morning, South Korea has 15 confirmed cases of the virus, believed to have originated in the central Chinese city of Wuhan. No suspected or confirmed cases have been reported among soldiers.

Prospective soldiers wearing masks have their blood taken during a medical checkup at the Seoul office of the Military Manpower Administration on Feb. 3, 2020, part of the year's first batch of applicants evaluated by the office. All able-bodied South Korean males are required to serve roughly two years in the military. (Yonhap)

graceoh@yna.co.kr
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