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Army boot camp in border town reports 22 new COVID-19 cases

Twenty-two draftees at an Army boot camp just south of the inter-Korean border have tested positive for COVID-19, the defense ministry said Friday.

The newly enlisted soldiers at the boot camp of the Army's Fifth Division in the border county of Yeoncheon underwent coronavirus tests and were confirmed to have been infected, two days after a colleague was diagnosed with the virus, according to the ministry.

All of them joined the military late last month, and only three of the 23 members received their first dose of COVID-19 vaccines, the ministry said.

The boot camp reported a cluster infection in November, which involved nearly 90 service members.

Separately, the defense ministry reported the first COVID-19 case from its headquarters in central Seoul.

One civilian employee at the ministry was confirmed to have been infected earlier in the day and contact tracing is now under way, according to officials.

The ministry temporarily shut down part of the building for disinfection works, they added.

The military also reported seven additional COVID-19 cases at other bases -- three new enlistees at an Army boot camp in the southern city of Busan and four soldiers, bringing the total caseload in the military to 1,896. (Yonhap)