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(LEAD) Staff sergeant at cyber command in Yongsan tests positive for coronavirus

All News 11:35 May 08, 2020

(ATTN: RECASTS headline, lead; UPDATES throughout with new infection; CHANGES photo)

SEOUL, May 8 (Yonhap) -- A staff sergeant working at the Cyber Operations Command in Seoul has tested positive for the new coronavirus, bringing the total number of cases reported in the military to 40, the ministry said Friday.

The soldier working at the command's service support unit contracted the virus after visiting a club in Seoul's popular foreign neighborhood of Itaewon where a COVID-19 patient visited last week, according to the ministry.

Following the test result early Friday, the military restricted the movement of all service members of the unit, and health authorities are tracing the patient's possible contacts.

The soldier is in quarantine at a state-run military residence.

"Disinfection work will be carried out today, and by tomorrow some part of the facilities could be shut down," a ministry official told reporters.

The soldier visited a hospital Tuesday and Wednesday after feeling ill but did not get a recommendation from a doctor to take a coronavirus test, the official said.

Authorities contacted him Thursday and told him to get tested after he was found to have visited one of the five clubs where a coronavirus patient had visited.

The new infection came as the military has been gradually moving to lift restrictions on service members amid a slowdown in the spread of the virus across the country.

Starting Friday, the military resumed allowing enlisted service members to go on vacation. All enlisted service personnel had been banned from off-base trips since mid-February, after the Navy reported the first COVID-19 infection in barracks.

The ministry earlier said other restrictions, including banning soldiers from staying out and meeting outside visitors, will be eased in phases in consideration of the virus situation down the road.

(LEAD) Staff sergeant at cyber command in Yongsan tests positive for coronavirus - 1


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