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By Choi Soo-hyang
SEOUL, March 5 (Yonhap) -- Two dependents of U.S. Forces Korea (USFK) personnel have tested positive for the new coronavirus, bringing the total number of USFK-related infection cases to six, the military said Thursday.
The fifth patient is a dependent of an active duty service member and the sixth is the spouse of a U.S. Department of Defense civilian employee, both based in the southeastern city of Daegu, according to USFK.
Daegu, about 300 kilometers southeast of Seoul, has been the heart of South Korea's COVID-19 outbreak, with the number of patients in the city skyrocketing due to a cluster of infections centered on the Shincheonji religious sect.
The fifth patient had been in self-quarantine since Feb. 26 and had not had contact with any other USFK-affiliated person since going into quarantine, it said. The person is now under direct medical care and supervision at a military hospital, USFK said.
"KCDC and USFK health professionals determined contact tracing was not necessary due to the patient's quarantine measures and lack of interaction with others," it said. KCDC stands for the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The sixth patient has been in self-quarantine since Feb. 28, and her spouse is now also under self-quarantine at their off-post residence as a precautionary measure. The military said she did not have contact with USFK affiliated personnel other than her spouse.
"KCDC and USFK health professionals are actively conducting contact tracing to determine whether anyone else may have been exposed," it said.
USFK remains on "high" risk level peninsula-wide and is implementing all appropriate control measures to help mitigate the spread of the virus to protect the force, it added.
As of Thursday, South Korea had reported 6,088 cases of the new coronavirus, including 40 deaths.
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