Soldiers on leave at Seoul Station (Yonhap)
A total of six military personnel were confirmed to be infected with COVID-19 as of Sunday, and 1,300 service members were quarantined, the Ministry of National Defense said.
All six of the infected individuals, including two officers and one civilian worker, were found to have visited either Daegu or the adjacent North Gyeongsang Province.
The exponential increase in cases of COVID-19 linked to church services there brought the total number of infected people in Korea to 602 as of Sunday afternoon.
“More and more soldiers are suspected of having come into contact with those confirmed to be infected. We had to expand the quarantine,” a Defense Ministry official said.
The ministry said about 6,400 military personnel and their family members had visited the COVID-19 clusters in Daegu and the immediate North Gyeongsang Province.
Those people would be put into a quarantine with their health conditions checked up twice a day, the ministry added.
A lockdown is in effect for all service members in Daegu and North Gyeongsang Province, with no visitors allowed. Soldiers and officers across all bases are prohibited from taking leave or seeing incoming visitors, with few exceptions and only for family emergencies.
The ministry also suspended the conscription of soldiers in Daegu and North Gyeongsang Province, while asking conscripts waiting to join the military to delay enlistment.
By Choi Si-young (firstname.lastname@example.org