South Korea said Friday that it had decided to exempt residents of the “special disaster zones” in the southeastern part of the county from reserve forces training this year.
The exemption covers those who reside or work in Daegu, Gyeongsan, Cheongdo and Bonghwa, the Ministry of Defense said.
“We decided to exempt reservists of the designated area from training sessions for the reserve forces this year for early recovery of economic damages and stabilization of local communities,” the ministry said.
In Korea, members of the reserve forces participate in a three-day mobilization training exercise each year to prepare for emergency situations.
Medical workers fighting the new coronavirus will also be excluded from this year’s exercise, including Army doctors, public health practitioners and nursing officers. This applies both to health care workers recruited by the Health Ministry and those who have volunteered to provide medical support.
The regular training sessions for the reserve forces have been delayed twice, and are now set to start June 1 instead of March 2.
So far, the military has reported 38 COVID-19 cases among service personnel with no additional cases since March 11.
By Park Han-na (firstname.lastname@example.org