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(LEAD) Military mobilizes over 200,000 man-days to combat coronavirus

Welfare/Medicine 14:40 May 27, 2020

(ATTN: ADDS meeting between vice defense minister, vice health minister in last 3 paras)

SEOUL, May 27 (Yonhap) -- Over 200,000 man-days of military personnel have been mobilized to help cope with the coronavirus outbreak since the disease was first reported in the country in late January, the defense ministry said Wednesday.

The number includes some 29,000 man-days of medical workers, as well as 30,000 man-days for disinfection work and 125,000 for quarantine operations at ports and airports, according to the ministry.

The military has reported 52 of the coronavirus cases in barracks so far.

Nationwide, South Korea reported 40 new cases of the virus Wednesday, raising the country's total coronavirus caseload to 11,265.

South Korea was on the verge of controlling the virus, with the daily increase falling to as low as just two cases three weeks ago.

But health authorities have been on alert again after a cluster infection reported in the popular nightlife district of Itaewon has led to other sporadic transmissions across the country.

Vice Health Minister Kim Ganglim visited Vice Defense Minister Park Jae-min on Wednesday to discuss ways to boost cooperation against a possible second wave of infections and expressed gratitude for the military's contribution in fighting the virus.

"Because the defense ministry gave full-fledged support in this national crisis of COVID-19 ... we could tide over a difficult time," Kim said during the meeting at the defense ministry building in Seoul.

In response, Park pledged to actively collaborate with the health ministry so that the military's medical system can supplement and support the country's quarantine system.

Members of the Army Second Operational Command sterilize a retail outlet in the southeastern city of Daegu on March 5, 2020, in this photo provided by the command. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)

scaaet@yna.co.kr
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