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(LEAD) Military reports 13 more COVID-19 cases

All News 13:00 November 29, 2021

(ATTN: UPDATES with details in paras 8-9)

SEOUL, Nov. 29 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's military reported 13 additional COVID-19 cases Monday, bringing the total caseload among its personnel to 2,305.

Among the new cases, three Army conscripts stationed in Seoul tested positive after one of them contracted the virus during a vacation.

A civilian employee of the Air Force based in Osan, 55 kilometers south of Seoul, tested positive while in self-quarantine.

An Army officer stationed in Yangju, north of Seoul, contracted the virus after a family member was infected.

Five other military personnel tested positive during and after their vacations.

Despite growing concerns over the emergence of the Omicron variant of COVID-19, the military said it plans to maintain current guidelines on vacations and off-base trips for its troops for the time being until health authorities issue new rules.

Meanwhile, the military plans to administer extra COVID-19 shots to fully vaccinated troops starting end-December -- slightly earlier than the initial plan to start the booster shot program in January, it said.

The defense ministry also said it is looking into ways to administer jabs to overseas South Korean troops, including vaccinating them at U.N. installations, amid lingering concerns over potential outbreaks in overseas military contingents.

In July, troops of the country's anti-piracy Cheonghae unit operating in waters off Africa were airlifted home, as 90 percent of them were diagnosed with COVID-19.

Of the cumulative cases in the military, 146 patients are still under treatment.

South Korea's new coronavirus cases stayed below 4,000 for the second straight day Monday due largely to fewer tests, but the high number of critically ill patients remained worrisome amid concerns about the new variant, according to the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency.

In this file photo, soldiers walk outside Seoul Station in central Seoul on Nov. 1, 2021. (Yonhap)

In this file photo, soldiers walk outside Seoul Station in central Seoul on Nov. 1, 2021. (Yonhap)


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