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(LEAD) Military reports 4 new COVID-19 cases

Defense 15:59 April 30, 2021

(ATTN: ADDS military's vaccine program in paras 3-6)

SEOUL, April 30 (Yonhap) -- Three soldiers and an airman tested positive for the new coronavirus, the defense ministry said Friday, the latest in a series of infections at barracks across the nation.

The four service members, all from different units, were confirmed to have been infected following their recent vacation, bringing the total number of infections among the military population to 784, according to the ministry.

Earlier this week, the military began vaccinating troops age 30 and older, and the campaign is under way without a hitch, the ministry said.

"By next week, we are planning to administer AstraZeneca vaccine shots to around 105,000 service members who volunteered for the campaign," a ministry official said.

Defense Minister Suh Wook visited the Capital Defense Command headquarters and checked the implementation of the vaccination program and COVID-19 mitigation measures.

"Swift vaccination is needed, but ensuring safety should come first," Suh said, instructing officials to give soldiers enough time to rest after receiving a shot and thoroughly adhere to antivirus schemes.

Nationwide, South Korea reported 661 more COVID-19 cases on Friday, including 642 local infections, raising the total caseload to 122,007, the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA) said.

A service member of the Navy Submarine Command undergoes a temperature check prior to receiving a COVID-19 shot at a makeshift center in the southeastern city of Changwon, North Gyeongsang Province, on April 28, 2021, in this photo provided by the defense ministry. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)

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