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(2nd LD) Four more military personnel test positive for new coronavirus

All News 15:37 November 12, 2020

(ATTN: ADDS more details in paras 2-3, photo)

SEOUL, Nov. 12 (Yonhap) -- Four more workers at a defense ministry agency handling welfare for service members have tested positive for the new coronavirus, the ministry said Thursday.

The latest cases brought the total number of COVID-19 cases at the Welfare Agency to 11 -- five service members and six civilian officials -- after one member of its personnel was confirmed to have been infected earlier this week, according to the ministry.

Three family members of the patients were also found to have been infected, the Central Disease Control Headquarters said.

Officials carry out disinfection work on a street in Inje, Gangwon Province, on Nov. 12, 2020, in this photo provided by the provincial government. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)

The agency is not located inside the ministry compound, but one of the patients was found to have visited a church near the ministry on Sunday, prompting the authorities to carry out virus tests for those who visited the religious facility.

"Around 300 workers of the defense ministry and the Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) as well as their family members underwent virus tests, and all of them tested negative," the ministry said in a statement.

The compound in Seoul's Yongsan is home to the JCS headquarters, the Cyber Operations Command and several other related defense organizations.

Contact tracing will continue to determine out the exact route of the infections, and additional tests will be conducted, if necessary, the ministry added.

Among the military population, a total of 178 individuals tested positive for the new coronavirus.

Currently, 186 service members are in isolation in accordance with the health authorities' guidelines, and the military has quarantined an additional 1,237 people under stricter anti-virus schemes of its own as a preventive step.

Nationwide, the country added 143 more COVID-19 cases, including 128 local infections, raising the total caseload to 27,942, according to the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA).

Medical workers and military officers prepare for a drive-thru center for the new coronavirus inside the defense ministry compound in Seoul on Nov. 11, 2020. (Yonhap)

graceoh@yna.co.kr
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