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Defense chief to convene meeting of top commanders over COVID-19 spread ahead of allied drills

Defense 14:43 August 08, 2022

SEOUL, Aug. 8 (Yonhap) -- Defense Minister Lee Jong-sup plans to hold a meeting of top commanders over the unabated spread of COVID-19 later this week, informed sources said Monday, amid concerns that troop infections could hamper the upcoming South Korea-U.S. drills.

The meeting is set to take place Wednesday as Seoul and Washington are preparing to conduct the Ulchi Freedom Shield training set for Aug. 22-Sept. 1, according to the sources.

Earlier, the Central Disaster and Safety Countermeasures Headquarters called for the military to thoroughly implement antivirus measures as it pointed out cluster infections at military facilities.

During a regular press briefing, Moon Hong-sik, the defense ministry's deputy spokesperson, said that the allies are striving to ensure that the virus won't get in the way of the combined training.

But he added that no restrictions on troops' vacations are under consideration yet.

South Korea's military reported 1,293 additional COVID-19 cases Monday, raising the total caseload among its service members to 224,904. Currently, 10,924 personnel are under treatment.

Defense Minister Lee Jong-sup speaks during a parliamentary session in Seoul on Aug. 1, 2022. (Pool Photo) (Yonhap)

colin@yna.co.kr
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