Four more soldiers at front-line units tested positive for the new coronavirus following a cluster infection reported on a nearby base, the defense ministry said Friday, raising concerns over further spread of the virus in barracks.
The soldiers from three different bases in Pocheon, some 45 kilometers north of Seoul, were confirmed to have COVID-19, after visiting an on-base church Sunday that confirmed patients from a nearby unit visited on the same day, according to the ministry.
The military has restricted movement of all troops from the bases with newly confirmed cases, and is conducting coronavirus tests on hundreds of soldiers there.
Fourteen soldiers at the nearby unit tested positive earlier this week after coming into contact with an outside counselor confirmed to have the virus. The counselor was found to have visited other units and hundreds of troops have taken virus tests.
The latest infection raised the total number of coronavirus cases among the military population to 76.
The total number of service members in quarantine, in accordance with health authorities' guidelines, stands at 275, and the military has put 1,198 service members in quarantine as a preventive step.
Amid an increase in the number of the new coronavirus cases, the defense ministry said it will establish more coronavirus diagnostic devices at military hospitals.
"We will enhance testing capabilities to prevent the possible spread of the virus during the prolonged COVID-19 situation and effectively respond when positive cases are confirmed," Armed Forces Medical Medical Command Commander Brig. Gen. Suk Woong said. (Yonhap)