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(LEAD) 3 additional coronavirus cases reported in military, total at 34

All News 14:44 March 04, 2020

(ATTN: ADDS more info in 2nd to last para; UPDATES with minor edits)

SEOUL, March 4 (Yonhap) -- Three more service personnel tested positive for the new coronavirus, bringing the total number of confirmed cases in South Korea's military to 34 on Wednesday, the defense ministry said.

Two of the new COVID-19 cases were from the Army -- a rank-and-file soldier and an officer in Yongin, 50 kilometers south of Seoul -- and the other was an officer at a unit under the direct control of the ministry in the central city of Daejeon, it said.

Of the total, 19 were in the Army, 11 in the Air Force, two in the Marine Corps and one each in the Navy and the ministry unit.

Around 7,270 service members are quarantined at their bases. Of them, around 1,020 have either shown symptoms or had direct contact with infected patients, while the remainder recently visited Daegu, North Gyeongsang Province or other virus-hit places such as China.

The Korea Air Force Academy, meanwhile, held a scaled-back commencement and commissioning ceremony without the attendance of the new officers parents' as part of the military's broader efforts to prevent the virus from further spreading.

As of midnight, South Korea had reported 5,328 virus patients, including 32 deaths.

Soldiers move to take trains at Seoul Station in Seoul on Feb. 21, 2020. Earlier in the day, the defense ministry said it will restrict all enlisted soldiers from vacationing, staying outside their bases and meeting visitors starting the following day. The move came after the Navy reported the first suspected coronavirus case among the country's service members the previous day. (Yonhap)


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