(LEAD) 9 service members test positive for COVID-19
(ATTN: ADDS more details, vaccination campaign in paras 4, 7-9)
SEOUL, May 21 (Yonhap) -- Four Army officers and five soldiers tested positive for the new coronavirus, the latest in a series of infections at barracks, the defense ministry said Friday.
Of them, four soldiers were from the same unit in Hongcheon, about 100 kilometers east of Seoul, which reported nine COVID-19 cases earlier, according to the ministry.
Three officers from another unit in the country also tested positive, prompting the military and health authorities to conduct contact tracing.
The remaining officer and an enlisted soldier were confirmed to have been infected following their recent vacation. The officer contracted the virus even after receiving the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, marking the seventh such case among the military population, according to the ministry.
The latest cases raised the total number of infections reported among the military population to 913.
Nationwide, South Korea reported 561 more COVID-19 cases, including 542 local infections, raising the total caseload to 134,678, the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA) said.
Meanwhile, the ministry wrapped up its vaccination campaign for troops aged 30 and older on Friday.
A total of 114,274 service members who are in the age group and agreed to be inoculated had received the AstraZeneca vaccine. They accounted for around 86 percent of the total service members in their 30s and older, according to the ministry.
The military plans to begin administering vaccines to those in their 20s next month, it added.
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