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(LEAD) 4 more military officers test positive for coronavirus after colleague's infection

All News 11:44 June 10, 2020

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SEOUL, June 10 (Yonhap) -- Four additional military officers at the military intelligence command tested positive for the new coronavirus after their colleague was confirmed to have the virus, the defense ministry said Wednesday.

The latest cases raised the total number of infections among the military population to 58.

On Tuesday, an Army major at the Defense Security Support Command under the direct wing of the defense ministry was confirmed to have been infected, and four of his colleagues have since tested positive, according to the ministry.

"Following the confirmation of the first case on Tuesday, we carried out virus tests on 77 people who had contact with him, a major, and found the four additional cases," a ministry official said.

The authorities are looking into the route of their infections, though three of the four new patients said they ate with the first patient, according to the official.

The authorities are conducting virus tests for all command members, the ministry said.

As one of the patients met his family member who works at the Army Personnel Command, the authorities also shut down the building located at the Gyeryongdae military headquarters in the central city of Gyeryong and are carrying out contact tracing, another official said.

Currently, 146 service personnel are quarantined in accordance with health authorities' guidelines. In addition, military authorities have put 1,651 members in isolation as a preventive step, according to the ministry.

South Korea has seen cluster infections in Seoul and the surrounding areas in recent days. On Wednesday, the country reported 50 more cases of the virus, bringing the nation's total to 11,902, according to the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC).

The security command is headquartered in the city of Gwacheon, just south of Seoul.

This file photo, taken Sept. 1, 2018, shows the main building of the Defense Security Support Command in Gwacheon, Gyeonggi Province. (Yonhap)

graceoh@yna.co.kr
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