SEOUL, Dec. 19 (Yonhap) -- Two Navy officers and a soldier tested positive for the new coronavirus, the defense ministry said Saturday.
The Navy officers stationed in the southeastern city of Jinhae underwent COVID-19 tests after their colleague was confirmed to have been infected earlier, according to the ministry.
The soldier in the border city of Paju also tested positive while in isolation after coming in contact with other patients at his barracks, it added.
The latest cases brought the total number of COVID-19 infections among the military population to 478.
Nationwide, the country added 1,053 more COVID-19 cases, including 1,029 local infections, raising the total caseload to 48,570, according to the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA).
As the country faces a shortage of hospital beds for COVID-19 patients, the ministry opened a military hospital in the southeastern city of Daegu to civilians Saturday. The Daegu clinic has 303 beds.
Last week, another military hospital in the central city of Daejeon began accepting civilian patients, and one in Goyang, north of Seoul, will also be available next week, according to the ministry.
Legislation on compensating virus-hit small biz picks up steam
Anger mounts over deepfake porn targeting Korean female celebs; more than 330,000 sign petition
Biden's pick for Asia policy likely to seek stronger regional alliances to check China
Iran's oil tanker seizure appears aimed at pressuring S. Korea to unlock frozen assets: experts
S. Koreans feel pinch of rising housing costs amid economic downturn