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Military reports no additional cases of new coronavirus for 6th day


The military has reported no additional cases of the new coronavirus among service personnel for six days in a row, the defense ministry said Tuesday, amid signs the outbreak is slowing down in South Korea.

The total number of COVID-19 infections in barracks remained unchanged at 38, including 12 personnel -- eight in the Army and four in the Air Force -- who have fully recovered from the new virus, according to the ministry.

Of the total infections, 21 were reported in the Army, 13 in the Air Force, two in the Marine Corps, and one each in the Navy and a unit under the direct control of the ministry.

"The situation appears to be under control, stably, but as there could be unexpected developments, we are still keeping a close watch," ministry spokesperson Choi Hyun-soo told a regular press briefing.

Around 2,350 service members are currently quarantined in a preventive measure. Of them, some 30 have either shown symptoms or had direct contact with infected patients, while the remainder recently visited the southeastern city of Daegu, the surrounding North Gyeongsang Province or virus-hit foreign nations, including China, the ministry said.

In a move to stem the spread of the virus, the Military Manpower Administration on Tuesday announced its decision to extend the suspension of physical checkups for potential draftees until April 12.

The MMA had initially planned to resume the examinations, which have been halted since Feb. 24, on March 23, but decided on the extension "in line with the government's call for social distancing," according to its press release. 

South Korea reported 84 new cases of the virus Tuesday, bringing its total infections to 8,320, with 81 deaths. It marks the third straight day daily new infections were in double digits. (Yonhap)